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(VOL. I ) -, 

Translation and Commentary of the 



Academy of 

Nadwatul Ulama, Lucknow-226 007 
( India ) 

Publishers : ,4 


P.O. Box 119, Tagore Marg, Nadwatul Ulama 
LUCKNOW-226 007 (India) 
Ph.: 0522-2741539, Fax : 0522-2740806 
E-mail : 

[The copyright of the Tafsir-ul-Qur'an, containing a 
revised translation and additions made in the 
commentary by the author; has been transferred to the 
Academy of Islamic Research and Publications by the 
heirs and successors of the Late Maulana Daryabadi. 
This Volume contains translation and commentary of 

Third Edition 

Series No; 147 


OF all great works the Holy Qur'an is perhaps the least translatable. 
Arabic is not at all easy to translate into a language so widely and radically 
differing from it in structure and genius as English, unless it be with the aid of 
loose periphrasis and lax paraphrase. Even so the fire of the original is quenched, 
its vivacious perspicuity is lost, and the so-called literal translation looks rugged and 
dreary. That the language of the Arabs abounds in nuances and both the noun 
and the verb are extremely flexible, is a fact well known to every student of that 

The difficulty is increased hundredfold when one has to render into English, 
with any degree of accuracy and precision, a work so rich in meaning, so pithy in 
expression, so vigorous in style and so subtle in implications as the Holy Qur'any 
To reproduce even partially its exotic beauty, wonderful grandeur and magical 
vivacity without sacrificing the requirements of the English idiom and usage, is the 
despair of the translator and an ideal impossible of attainment. The result is that 
every fresh attempt at translating the Holy Writ brings home, in varying degrees, 
the truth of the old saying that nothing is-so unlike an original as its copy. 

The impediments confronting an honest translator may be summed up under 
six main heads and various sub-headings : 

1. In the first place comes the comparative poverty of the English language 
in several respects. For instance : 

(a) There is a large number of Arabic verbs untranslatable into English as 
verbs, such as j.^ /^ , ^*J / v ;^f , JJ*A , ^ , J,y , ^UV etc., and one 
has perforce to render each of these words not by a single word but by a combination 
of words. Thus Jd^j has to be translated as 'is niggardly,* jd^ as 'is truthful', 
^ ^j as' 'is equal/ J^j as 4s extravagant/ J.!**.* as 'maketh vain* or rendereth 
void/ 'w* as 'conferred a benefit/ JLJaj as 'is exorbitant/ and u>%^ as /causes 

(A) There is no equivalent for the Arabic *)[J+ (aorist) in English, or, for 
that matter, in any other language known to the translator. The Arabic £){*+ is 
both present and future tenses combined, whereas in other languages (including 
English) a tense is either present or future. Thus thousands of Arabic verbs are to 
be rendered in English only incompletely. 

[ iv 3 

(c) In English grammar there are only two 'numbers/ singular and plural, 
and there is no single word to convey the sense of the Arabic dual (£jJL&) m nouns 
as well as verbs, both in the second and the third persons. 

(d) There is comparative dearth of LcUj|>U**,! (nomina agentis) in English 
language, whereas they abound in Arabic. ,^JU^ , ^jsjm , ^\3 , d y ***£**♦ , 
^IW, tfiSyA* , ^ jSJU , ^U , ^ 5 ^U, ^ jfL) and many similar words 
have to be rendered as adjectives or participles, not as substantives. 

(e) In Arabic, the feminine plural in the second and third person is always 
distinguishable from the masculine. In English both genders are covered by 'you' 
and 'they/ 

2. Next, repetition of synonyms, chiefly for the sake of emphasis, is of 
frequent occurrence in Arabic ; in fact, at times it is of considerable literary merit 
and beauty. In the English language there is no sanction for it. Thus many such 
expressions as J^J\ ^ssJ ^sxj Ul (literally, 'Verily f We ! We! We! quicken 
the dead') or e^^ . sa* ^sw'Ul (literally, 'Verily, We! surely We! We 
quicken and cause death') or j£3JI Wy .*»; l;t (literally, 'Verily, We! We! 
We have revealed the Admonition') have to remain only partly translated. 

3. Another serious difficulty is caused by the case with which ellipses occur 
in the best and finest Arabic style and both words and phrases have to be supplied 
by the reader to make the sense complete. , At one time, it is only the subject that 
is mentioned and the predicate is entirely suppressed, and at another, the reverse is 
the case. The obvious duty of the translator on all such occasions is to supply the 
omission, although his attempts in many cases must be hazardous. 

4. Yet another perplexity is caused to the translator by the abrupt gramma- 
tical transition, in one and the same sentence, frequent in Arabic : 

(a) of person, as from the first and second person to the third, or vice versa ; 

(b) of number, from plural to singular, or vice versa. 

5. A further complication is caused by what is known as J>\+*b )L&&t *• *•# a 
personal or relative pronoun having different antecedents in one and the same 
sentence. The translator cannot afford to allow such ambiguities; he has to make 
his choice. 

6. . Finally, there is no real equivalence in the import of many of the Arabic 
and English words generally held to^be synonyms. The Arabic word ^ • for ins- 
tance, has no equivalent in English, both 'adultery' and 'fornication* being of 
much narrower import. Similary English has few words to express such closely 
related (j^UJt M)'** 3 ^) Arabic terms as, _i, ; sL , u>.x&L r jUit, <-^**>* and 

jj (as in the phrase *JUl -%&►). Nor is English perhaps rich enough to indi- 
cate clearly the shades of meanings of such sets of words as y^U , jjfciJand )&$£* , 
or ^js^y and +&±) , or ,.X*x* , Ixaw and ^.a. . 

As to the genius of Arabic language it may not be amiss to recall a few 
observations made by a distinguished Afabist, Alfred Guillaume; — 

[ v ] 

' Arabic is fitted to express relations with more conciseness than the Aryan 
languages because of the extraordinary flexibility of the ver.b and noun. Thus the 
ideas in break, shatter, try to break, cause to break, allow to be broken, break one 
another, ask someone to break, pretend to break, are among many variations of the 
fundamental verbal theme which can, or could, be expressed by vowel changes and 
consonantal augments without the aid of the supplementary verbs and pronouns 
which we have to employ in English. The noun, too, has an appropriate form for 
many diverse things, such as the time and place of an action, bodily defects, diseases, 
instruments, colours, trades, and so an. One example must suffice. Let us take 
the root d-w-r, which, in its simplest form, means to turn or revolve (intransitive). 

dawwara, to turn a thing round. dawara, to walk about with someone. 

adara, to make go round, and so to control. fstaddra™ J t0 be round in sha P e - 

dawr, turning (noun). dawra h, one turning. 

daw war, pedlar or vagrant. duwar, vertigo. 

daw/an, circulation. dawwarah, mariner's compass. 

madar, axis. mudarah, round water-skin. 

muctir, controller. 

'None of these forms is fortuitous, but is predetermined by the structural 
genius of the Arabic language/ (Arnold and Guillaume, Legacy of Islam, Preface, 
pp. vi-vii). 

To take another instance :— 

'From the root KTB "write,-" we have KaTaBna, "we wrote," naKTubu, 
"we "will, write," KaTiB, "writing, a writer," KiTaB, "a book," maKTaB, "a 
place of writing, a school," muKTiB, "a teacher of writing," taKaTaBa, "they 
two corresponded with one another," as-TaKTiB, "I will ask him to write," 
waKtaTaBa, "and he got his name written down in the register," KuTTaB, 
"scriber," maKaTaBat, "correspondence," etc. (EBr. II. p. 192.) 

Add to these inherent handicaps my own excessive incompetence— meagre 
knowledge of English and only a passing acquaintance with Arabic—and the auda- 
city of the enterprise becomes apparent. Further, it has been my lot to work almost 
unaided and single-handed. The outcome of my seven years of labour of love is 
before God and man, and certainly it is not for me to pass any judgment on my 
own work. Had I been able to foresee at the commencement of the tai^k the 
amount of labour it would involve and the length of time it would necessitate, my 
courage would surely have failed me, and I would not have undertaken the work 
at all. If there is any merit discernible in the work it is absolutely due to the grace 
and mercy of the Almighty and if there are faults (and undoubtedly they are many 
and serious), they must be credited to my own incapacity. My constant endeavour 
has been to give as literal and as faithful a rendering of the Holy Qur'an as is 

[ vi ) 

consistent with tolerable English. Accuracy, not literary embellishment, I have 
aimed throughout. I have also attempted, in my own humble way, to follow closely 
the style arid phraseology of the Authorised Version of the English Bible, though 
it would be nothing short of temerity to expect that that standard has been even 
, appreciably achieved. 

In regard to the arrangement of commentary, a word or two would suffice : 

(i) Comments of lexical, grammatical, historical, geographical, and general 

exegetjcal interest are given in the footnotes, 
(it) Where an elucidation seemed necessary in order to complete the sense, 
it has been placed in parentheses, again in the footnotes. The reader is 
requested kindly to treat such matter as if it formed an integral part of 
the text and to read it along with it. 
(it*) Ellipses have been supplied in the text itself and are distinguished by 

A few characteristics of my translation and transliteration may here be briefly 
noted. .The word ^jj in monotheistic context I always retain in translation as 
Allah, and only render it by 'God' when the context is distinctly pagan or polythe- 
istic. The words .J) y^; and \\^a) I have invariably translated as 'Nazarene' 
and -Nazarenes,' not as 'Christian' and 'Christians/ The Holy Qu^an allows no 
status to Christianity as such. To the religion of the Qur'an and the Prophet I 
always refer as Islam, not as Muhammadanism. Contrary to. the general European 
practice I write Makka (not Mecca), Madina (not Medina), Muhammad (not 
Mohammed), Isma'il (not Ishmael) and Hajira (not Hagar) ; and in the Arabic 
context I retain the correct Arabic forms of proper names such asjibrll, Mlkall, 
A-dam, Nuh, Ibrahim, Isra-ii, Lut, Is-haq, Ya'qub, Yusuf, Musa, Harun, Fir'awn, 
Qarun, Ayyub, Da-ud, Sulaiman, Talut, Jalut, Yunus, Ilyas, Zakarlyya. Yahya, 
'Imran, Maryam and 'Isa, reserving their Biblical and European variants for the 
English context. 

Now remains the pleasant duty of acknowledging^bbligations and recording 
thanks. To several of my precursors I am moire or less indebted, but in particular 
to Sale, Lane, Pickthall and Nawab 'Imad-ul-Mulk Bilgraml (whose unfinished 
and unpublished translation, up to Part XVI, I had the good fortune to possess). 
To Dr. Bell, the latest of the English translators, my debt is- specially great. In 
exegetical and explanatory notes I have found Maulana Ashraf 'All Thanavi's 
Urdu Bayan-ul-Qur 9 an (12 Vols.) of invaluable help, and I have also largely drawn 
upon Wherry's Commentary and , in a lesser degree, upon 'Abdullah Yusuf 'All's. 
Many other authors, both ancient and modern, besides those explicitly quoted in the 
following pages, must, I fear, remain unacknowledged by name. In many cases, 
they impressed themselves so indelibly on my memory that their very words became 
part and parcel 6f my phraseology, but I could not in every instance remember 

[ vii ] 

whence they came. This is a general acknowledgment of any unconscious plagia- 
risms that I may have committed. A list of the principal books cited and referred 
to by me, given at the end of this work, may, however, to some extent, extenuate 
my crime. 

I have considerably profited by the suggestions of several of my esteemed 
friends and scholars to whom Part I was submitted for detailed criticism. To 
Dr. M. H. Syed and Dr. A. S. Siddlqi (both of Allahabad University) I owe not 
a few improvements in language and transliteration respectively. 

Daryabad, ABDUL MAJ1D 

Bara Bank! (India) 
December, 1941 C.E. 

In the name of Allah, the Beneficient, the Merciful 


The Quranic i'Jaz, variously interpreted as its inimitable, ellipticism, 
miraculous elegance, grandiose cadence and emotive and evocative force, is so 
multilateral that Imam SuyutT has in the M'otrak ahAqr'an fl I'jaz //-Quran, 
enumerated 35 distinctive features of the Divine Scripture, all of which pertain to 
its literary excellence alone. These, by no means, exhaust the marvellous super- 
excellence of the Holy Qur'an : some have been discussed by other writers while 
others are yet to be expounded, but these are so self-evident that not even the 
most inveterate enemy of Islam can deny them. One of these is that the writers 
like Noldake Theodor, Friedrick Schatty, Charles Francis Potter, Phillip "K. Hitti 
and several other orientalists, none of whom is known for his sympathetic 
approach to Islam, had to acknowledge the fact that the Qur'an was "the most 
widely read book in existence/' 1 and the Prophet to whom it was revealed was 
"the most successful of all the prophets." 2 They had willy-nilly to admit this 
undeniable fact for they had noticed that the Christian missionary societies, 
financed by affluent European and American countries, had succeeded in 
rendering the Christian Bible into about seven hundred languages 3 and making 
finely printed copies of it available to nearly all the urban centres or even in 
every room of a high class hotel all over the world, yet the numbers who go 
through them in ten years is just a fraction of those who recite the Qur'an everv 
day. 4 

Another notable aspect of the i'jaz of Qur'an is that notwithstanding the 
persistent campaign launched since the beginning of the thirteenth century 
A. D. to present the Holy Qur'an as a product of human mind drawing the mate- 
rial contained in it indiscriminately from the apocryphal books of Judaism and 

1. Charles Francis Potter. The Faith Man Lives By, Kings Wood Surrey, 1955, p. 81 ; Phillip 
H. Hitti, History of the Arabs, London, 1953, p. 426. 

2. Lamertine: Histoire de la Turquie, Paris 1854, Vol. II, p. 277 : D. G. Hogarth, A History 
of Arabia, Oxford, 1922/ p. 52. 

3. Prof. Muhammad Mubarak, Khasa'is a l-Lughat al-'Arabiya, p. 6, cited from Bible Society 
Publications, Beirut. 

4. John Arnold, World Religions and Societies, Readers Digest, June 1961. 

t *■ I 

Christianity, hundreds of its translations/ commentaries and glossaries have been 
brought out even in Europe. Nor the political and industrial ascendancy of the 
West coupled with its intellectual and educational supremacy and control over 
the vyorld-wide mass media has been able to shake the faith of the Muslims in 
the Holy Qur'gn as the Word of God. This conviction has rather increased with 
the passage of time than being eroded by these deliberate misrepresentations : 
the denigrators of the Qur'an have, on the other hand, been forced to put them- 
selves on their guard. Prof. R. B. Sergeant writes in his introduction to the 
Dictionary and Glossary of the Quran by John Price that the readers of the 
Qur'an ought to understand the Book directly from it since the Arab and Muslim 
countries which are now forsaking conservatism in favour of modernism still take 
the Scripture as a divine revelation and the people are still accustomed to say, 
"God Exalted has said" before quoting any passage from it and end the citation 
with the words, "God Almighty has truly spoken". 

European scholars of Islam, whether they be Prof. Sergeant or GeorgeSale 
or contributors to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, cannot be expected to express 
anything beyond their own impressions of the Holy Qur-Sn. They, even if not 
inspired by a malicious prejudice, cannot shake off their mistaken notions about 
Islam that have become a part of their intangible heritage of thought and feeling. 
But, for us, Muslims, it is an apparent fact that God Almighty has Himself taken 
the responsibility of preserving the Holy {lur'Sn in its absolute purity. 

"Verity We, it is We who have revealed the Admonition, and varily We 

are its Guardians ." '[XV : 9] 
This prophecy has been strikingly confirmed by the fact that the Qur'Sn has 
remained free from ail alterations, accretions and deletions ever since it was enun- 
ciated by the holy Prophet (peace be upon him). The purity of the Quranic 
text maintained through fourteen centuries has already been acknowledged by 
all, friends and foes alike. I would better cite here the commentary of the learned 
author of this exegesis on the above verse. He writes : 

"Islam knows no such thing as 'redactions' of its Holy Text. Even those 
who have most stoutly denied its being the Word of God are unanimous in testifying 
to its being exactly the same ' work of Muhammed' as it was thirteen centuries ago. 
Let us have the testimony of a few such unwilling witnesses :— 

(i) 'The texit of the Quran is the purest of all works of a like antiquity/ 

(Wherry, Commentry on the Quran. I, p. 349) . 
(ii) 'Othman's recension has remained the authorised text* .... from the 

time it was made until the present day \ (Palmer, The Quran, Intro. 

p. liv). 

(iii) 'The text of this recension substantially corresponds to the actual 
utterances of Muharhmed himself/ (Arnold* Islamic faith, p. 9). 

(iv) "All sects and parties have the same text of the Quran* (Hurgronje, 
Mohammadanism, p. 18). 

(v) c It is an immense merit in the Kiiran that there is no doubt as to its 

t « ] 

genuineness. . . . . That very word we can now read with full confi- 
dence that it has remained unchanged through nearly thirteen hundred 
years'. (Lane and Lane-Poole, Selections from the Kuran, Trubner, 
London, Intro, p. c). 
(vi) 'The recension of 'Othman has been handed down to us unaltered 

There is probably in the world no other work which has remained 

twelve centuries with so pure a text' (Muir, Life of Mahomet, Intro, 
pp. xxii-xxiii). 
(vii) 'In the Koran we have, beyond all reasonable doubt, the exact words 
of Mohammad without subtraction and without addition/ (Bosworth 
Smith, Mohammad and Mohammedanism, London 1874, p. 22). 
(viii) "The Koran was his own creation; and it lies before us practically 
unchanged from the form which he himself gave it', (Torrey, Jewish 
Foundation of Islam, p. 2)." 
In addition to these testimonies of European orientalists about the purity 
of the text of the Holy Qur'an, the author goes on to substantiate the claim of 
the Qur'an to be a Divine revelation which is undisputed and unique among all 
the religious scriptures. He writes : 

"Not only, is the meaning of the Holy Book therefore inspired but every 
word, every letter— dictated through the angel Gabriel to the holy Prophet from 
an Archetype preserved in the heaven. That is the distinctive claim of the Holy 
Qur'an shared by no other 'revealed Book' in the world. The Bible, in particular 
'makes no such claim ..... The Bible is the work of a large number of poets, 
prophets, statesmen, and lawgivers, extending over a vast period of time, and 
incorporates with itself other and earlier, and often conflicting documents" 
(Boswarth Smith op. cit., p. 19). 

The Divine care to preserve the purity of the' Holy Qur'an provided the 
impulse to put dots on alphabets of similar shape in order to distinguish between 
their pronunciations, to develop the twin sciences of philology and lexicography, 
and to lay down the rules of Arabic grammar and the criteria for rhetoric and style 
of prose writing. This literary activity has never ceased for a day since the 
second century of Islamic era. Also/ the etymological structure of the Arabic 
language has saved its dialects, like a strong cementing force, from falling apart 
into distinct languages and thus the Divine revelation has remained intelligible to 
the succeeding generations. It is also noteworthy that the Providential arrange- 
ment of writing the commentaries of the Holy Qur'an started as early as the third 
century A. H. In the beginning the exegesis of the Qur'an formed a part of the 
science of the hadlth since it was generally thought that the divine revelation 
could be understood only in the light of holy Prophet's Traditions, specially 
those handed down by 'Abdullah bin 'Abbas. But the exegesis of the Qur'an 
became an independent science with the Tafslr Tabrl of Abu J'afar Muhammad 
b. Jarlr Tabrl (d. 310A.H.) and it has ever since been vigorously cultivated by 
the Muslims scholars. The commentaries on the Holy Qur'an written from time 
to time are in fact a mine of historical information shedding light on the way the 

i « ] 

Qur'an was understood during different periods. 

The Arabists and Orientalists, on the other hand, started translating the 
Holy Qur'an from the thirteenth century A. D. and rendered it into almost all the 
European languages, of which the largest number of translations were brought 
out in French, German and English. A list of such translations was given by 
Prof. Hamldullah in the introduction to his own French rendering of the Holy 
Qur'an published in 1961. His another work entitled Al-Qur'an fl-Kull-i-Lisan, 
now out of print, contained a complete list erf all the translations of the Holy 
Qur'an brought out up to 1341/1922. The list, I believe, would be two-fold in 
volume if Prof. Hamldullah were now to bring it up-to-date. 

Translations of the Holy Qur'an in English can be divided into two cate- 
gories. First, there are those penned either by non-Muslim Orientalists or by 
those Muslim apologists who were unduly impressed by the political ascendancy 
and industrial advancement of the West, such as, the Qadiani exegetes, Shaikh 
Muhammad 'Abduh of Egypt, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan of India and Muhammad 
Asad of Austria, but their writings never met the approval of the Muslims. 
Secondly, there are Muslim translators and commentators who mostly belong, 
excepting Marmaduke Pickthal, to the Indo-Pak sub-continent. Pickthal was 
an English Muslim, a journalist and a literary man of standing but he, too, was 
commissioned by the then Nizam of Hyderabad to undertake an explanatory 
translation of the Holy Qur'an and he also wrote that work in India. 

Among the translators and exegetes of the second group the translation 
and commentary on thB Holy Qur'an by 'Abdullah Yusuf 'All was received 
popularly. His rendering of the Quranic verses is in blank verse which, according 
to him, is more suited to convey something of the Qur'an's inimitable symphony 
to the readers of the Qur'an in English. But the requirement of prosody made 
it inevitable for him to alter the wording order of the sacred text. He had also 
occasionally to deviate from a literal rendering. Pickthal's explanatory translation, 
on the other hand, is most readable. Although it is also not free from mistakes, 
it has an edge over other translations because of its fluency and gracefulness of 

There was, however, the need of another English translation of the Holy 
Qur'an, complete with explanatory notes, which could be recommended with 
confidence to the Muslims and Non-Muslims whose mother tongue was English 
or who found it easy, owing to their cultural background or educational upbring- 
ing, to understand it better in English language. The author of such an exegesis 
had to expound the Quranic text in terms acceptable to the scholars of the 
Ahl-Sunnat wal-Jama at; to avoid putting forward his own views and ideas in the 
exegesis; to be fully conversant with the Arabic lexicon and rules of grammar; 

[ xiii ] 

to avoid the apologetic approach in expounding the Quranic injunctions and 
institutions; to have an implicit faith in the life after death and the rewards and 
retributions promised in the Qur'an as divine pronouncements instead of taking 
them merely as symbolical expressions ; to have studied all the classical and 
modern commentaries in depth; to be able to expound the significance of Quranic 
injunctions in regard to polygamy, slavery, dowry, execution of the apostates, 
blood-wit etc;; to hold the same belief about the throne ('arsh and kursi), the 
preserved tablet {fauhu'l Mahfuz), jinnee, angels, prophethood (nabuwat), revela- 
tion (wahl). and the earlier and final divine scriptures as entertained by the earliest 
Muslims; and to have no qualms about the bodily lifting of Jesus Christ to the 
higher regions. Taking all these factors into account the translation and commen- 
tary of 'Abdul Majid Daryabadl is undoubtedly unique and most acceptable among 
all the exegetical renderings of the Holy Qur'an attempted so far in the English 

The exegesis bv Daryabadl throws ample light on all those peoples who have 
been mentioned in the Holy Qur'an alongwith their geographical locations and the 
eras in which they flourished. One can find all. the necessary details about the 
earlier prophets who find a mention in the Holy Qur'an, since it provides answers 
to such questions as what was the time of their advent who were the peoples to 
whom they disseminated the message vouchsafed to them, who were the Adites 
and Thamudites and the people of Prophet Salih, where those people lived, 
where were Babil and Madyan located and similar other questions that arise in 
mind while reading the Holy Qur'an. 

The exegesis also demonstrates in the light of human experience and 
researches made in the field of anthropology and sociology the superiority of Islamic 
social order and its legislations pertaining to marriage, divorce, inheritance etc., 
over all other social laws and systems. It shows how the Islamic injunctions 
represent the most refined and elaborate system of social existence known to the 
civilized world. 

In addition to these, a distinguishing feature of DarySbadi's exegesis is 
that it provides a conclusive answer fo those Jewish and Christian critics of 
Islam who claim that the Holy Qur'an draws its material from the scriptures and 
apocryphal writings of Judaism and Christianity. In fact these critics are unable 
to appreciate the fact that the Holy Qur'Sn has been revealed to confirm the 
scriptures of old and to re-state and uphold the spirit of their true. teachings, 
which, by itself, involves refutation of such accretions, alterations and additions 
as have found a place into the scriptures of Judaism and Christianity. 

"And when there came unto them a Book from before Allah confirming 
that which was with them— and aforetime they were entreating God for 
victory over those who disbelieved— then when there came unto them that 

[ xiv 1 

which they recognised, they disbelieved therein"* (II : 89). 
That the Qur'an is a repository of divine message revealed in the earlier 
scriptures is an article of faith for the Muslims, but it was necessary to bring out 
those teachings of the Torah and the Gospels which were confirmed by the. Holy 
Qur'an in order to distinguish them from the spurious matter inserted into these 
scriptures by their scribes, translators and commentators For whatever in these 
Books finds a confirmation by the Holy Qur'an is undoubtedly correct; everything 
else is a later addition mixed up with the divine revelation The learned author 
has taken pains to make a most thorough study by making a comparative analysis 
of the Biblical and Quranic teachings and narratives of events common to 
both, in order to show how the Holy Qur'gn upholds only the correct and original 
teachings of the Old and New Testaments. He also provides food for thought 
to those Orientalists and students of comparative religions who prefer not to talk 
about the systematic refusal of the Holy Qur'gn to confirm numerous accretions 
to the existing Bible. The exegesis pin-points all such differences to show that 
the Biblical version of many an incident is nothing but a product of human 
imagination. His treatment of such matters, makes It amply clear that if there 
hsd h&m any parallelism in the Bible and the Qur'an, as asserted by almost all 
European scholars, there would not have been the differences indicated by him in 
the narration of the same event by these scriptures. To give an example we may 
refer to the following verse in the Holy Qur'Sn : 

"O people of the Book; do not exceed the bounds in your religion, 

and say not of Allah save what is the truth. The Messiah Isa, son of 

Mary am, is but a messenger oft A II ah and His Word— He cast it upon Mary am 

—and a spirit from Him. Believe therefore in Allah and His messengers, 

and do not say : three". (IV : 171). 

Commenting on the Christian belief in Trinity, the learned author says : 

"Trinity denotes the central doctrine of Christian religion. It means that 

God 'is three really distinctive Persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. 

Each of these persons is truly the same God, and has all His infinite perfections, 

yet He is really distinct from each of the three Persons These Persons are 

co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial, and deserve co-equal glory and adoration, 
which the Church expresses in the oft-repeated' prayer : "Glory be to the Father, 
and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost/ (Pollen and Wynne, .New Catholic Dic- 
tionary, New York, p. 973). The book of Islam c found in the dogma of Trinity 
what every emancipated thinker finds on impartial reflection — an absurd legend, 
which is neither reconcilable with first principles of reason, nor of any value what- 
ever for our religious advancement. In the Brahmanic religion the Trimurti is 
also conceived as a "divine unity" made up of three persons— Brahma (the creator), 
Vishnu (the sustainer), and Shiva (the destroyer)'. (Haeckal, Riddle of the Universe, 
pp. 226, 233). 'The Divine trinity has been considered a tripersonal trinity, each 
person being God and Lord . . . .Men's minds have been brought by this into such 
a state of bewilderment that they do not know whether there is one God or whether 
there are three; one is on their lips, but three in their thoughts'. (Swedenborg, 
The True Christian Religion, p. 5). 'The Nicene Greed really 'teaches three Divine 

[ xv ] 

Persons and denies three Gods, and leaves us to guess what else is a Divine Person 
but a God or a God but a Divine Person'. (Newman, Phases of " Faith, p. 23)". 

The Jews and Christians normally charge Islam with preaching fana- 
ticism and intolerance as, for example, its prohibition of marriage between a 
believing and disbelieving couple. The author has, in his commentary on the 
relevant verses, quoted the scriptures of their religions to show that the criticism 
actually applies to these religions rather than to Islam. In a like manner he 
has demonstrated the superiority of Islamic legislation in regard to divorce 
and marriage vis-a-vis the raptured family relationships in the Christian West. 

The classical commentators of the Holy Qur'an had occasionally to take 
the help of Israelite traditions, though cautiously, for elucidating a certain event 
of which only a particular aspect of the happening finds a mention in the Qur'an 
in order to draw a moral from it To cite an example here, the Qur'an says about 
King Solomon in verse 102 of the Surat-ul-Baqrah : 

"And Sulaiman blasphemed not, but the satans blasphemed; teaching 

the people magic. And they follow also what was sent unto the two 

angels in 'Bab/I, Harut and Ma rut." 

In the absence of any more details about the incident, one may wonder 
how the charge of blasphemy came to be levelled against King Solomon, a 
Prophet of God, which has been refuted by the Qur'an. Like the earlier exegetes 
DarySbSdT has also referred to the accusation of idolatry made against King 
Solomon in 1 Ki. 11 : 4, 9. 10 He also mentions how the Jews 'unblushingly 
attributed to him the cult of crude occultism and witchcraft', and goes on to 
cite the findings of modern Biblical researches which support the Qur'an in 
stoutly denying these charges. Similarly; he sets forth evidence to show that 
Babylonia was the strongest citadel of magic and witchcraft in al! antiquity. 

Another distinctive feature of DaryabadT's rendering of the Quranic text is 
that he has always kept in view the most appropriate expression in English or the 
one which is closely nearest to the interpretation of a word used in the Holy 
Qur'§n. To give an example here the words ^U (zahir) and ^Mj (bfftinV in the 
passage <ok b , >* M >a>lkf v i have been translated by him as 'outside' and 'inside' 
which convey the literal sense of these words. The derived meanings of these 
two words 'open' and 'secret', which have been normally adopted by other 
translators in rendering this passage into English, have been given by him in the 
footnotes. This approach of the author shows his painstaking diligence and 
reverential regard for the sacred text. Another example of a similar assiduous 
care taken by him in this regard is to be found in rendering the verse XVII : 29 
which runs as follows : 

O I );«*»* U,JU SxsLZ* WJl jj'Ula«.+5.^. 5 >-^^ J\ I)*!*.* l J&j "J«3w $ y 

[ xvi ] 

This verse has been translated to read as follows : 

"Let not your, hand he chained to your neck, nor stretch it forth to the 
utmost of its extremity, lest thou sit down reproached, impovrished." 

The English rendering of the above verse is literal; an idiomatic 
translation would have better conveyed the sense but it would have also meant a 
deviation from the text of the sacred Scripture. Unlike other translators of the 
Holy- Qur'an who prefer to give the derived meanings of an Arabic word or 
phrase, DaryabadT has chosen te give an exact translation of the text and then 
explained in the footnote that "let not thine hand be chained to thy neck" means 
"do not be niggardly". This, however, does hot sugggest that the renderings of 
other translators are incorrect but it nevertheless evinces the regard and attach- 
ment of the author as well as his solicitude to maintain the original wordings of 
the divine revelation. He goes on to explain the correct significance of the words 
and phrases according to Arabic usage and also points out at several places, the 
incorrect renderings by earlier translators, and thus acquaints the readers with the 
Arabic idiom. 

Every student of the Holy Qur'Sn knows that the Divine Scripture has its 
own distinctive vocabulary. As, for instance, the Qur'an has not been referred to 
^by its proper name at all the places; often it is alluded to as \<±)\ (az-zikr), or 
a<^H (al- hakim), or ^UxM {al-kitab), or jg y $ (furqan). For the Doomsday, it 
uses the words ^UaJL-j (ycm af-qiyamah), l^L^J^j (yom af-hisStj), 
.vUxJl*** (y° m al-taghaburi) and *^f\ (al-akhazah). In addition to ''giLajt 
(as'safat), the prayers are also referred to as y <&\ (az-zikr) and ^£j!,TJ; 
(qur'an al-fajr) and similar other epithets. The classical commentators of the 
Qur'an- have explained the correct purport of each word in the context of 
particular verses so as to make it clear where a certain word with more than one 
connotation as, for example, y ^)\ {az-zikr) denotes the Qur'an and where it 
implies prayer. The legists of Islam have likewise indicated the significance of 
each word having more than one import in its particular context. In the verse 
^$\y}\£. ,,*<,!, W-yttfl 5 gl^Jl^t, the phrase ^<) y )\^ ^5^ signifies offering 
congregational prayers as explained by QartabI, LaghwT, Madrak-ul-TanzTI, 
Baidawi and Kashshaf. Instead of rendering this phrase as "bow down among 
those who bow", the author has interpreted it as "bow down with those who bow 
down", and further elucidated it in the notes with the words, "with the Muslims 
in the congregational prayer" so that the correct significance of the phrase given 
by classical exegetes may become clear to the readers. 

The Holy Qur'an is, after all, the Word of God, perfect and faultless, while 
no man can make a claim to finality or impeccability. Every product of human 
mind is likely to contain some deficiency, yet, for all that, 'Abdul Majid Daryabadi 
has acquitted himself of this onerous task in a laudable manner. Throughout his 

[ xvii ] 

life he preoccupied himself with the study of the Holy Qur'Sn and wrote an 
exegesis in Urdu in addition to the English one. His translation and commentary 
is, to my mind, unique and most dependable among all the translations and 
commentaries of the Qur'Sn so far attempted in English language. 

May Allah accept his praiseworthy endeavour and shower His choicest 
blessings on him. 

The Academy of Islamic Research and Publications deem it a favour from 
the Almighty that the heirs and successors of late 'Abdul MSjid Daryabad? 
agreed to transfer the publication rights of this commentary to it. The first 
edition of this works was brought out by the Taj Company of Lahore, in 1957, 
after which the author had revised his earlier translation. The late author desired 
the new edition to be brought out with the revised translation but, as God had 
willed it, his wish could not be fulfilled during his lifetime. Now the commentary 
is being published with the revised translation. Muhammad RSbe'y NadwT took 
keen interest in fulfilling the wish of the departed author while Syed Mohluddln, 
an associate scholar of the Academy, and Sh&r Mohammad Syed of Lahore took 
pains to check and correct the mistakes that had crept into the earlier edition by 
comparing almost all the quotations givfen in the notes with the original sources. 
Certain additions made by the author In his rfianu^cript have also been incorpo- 
rated in this edition. May Allah recompense all of them with goodly returns. 

Abut Hasan A|i Nadwi 


Shawwal 15, 1401 /August 16, 1981 


Below is given the system of transliteration adopted in this 

la '. "& z 

£ gh 





























iff t 














(as vowel) 



(as consonant) 



(as vowel) 



(as consonant) 



<r • 

an (above the line) 



(below the line) 



Ac. = Acts of the Apostles. 

Am. =■ Amos. 

1. Ch. = The First Book of the Chronicles. 

2. Ch. = The Second Book of the Chronicles. 
Col. ..«■ Paul's First Epistle to Colossians. 

1. Cor. «= Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthinians. 

2. Cor. =* Paul's Second Epistle to the Corinthinians. 
Dn. = The Book of Daniel. 

Dt. = Deuteronomy : The Fifth Book of Moses, 

Ex. = Exodus : The Second Book of Moses. 

Ez. = Ezra 

Ezek. « The Book of the Prophet Ezekiel. 

Gr. Jn. = The Epistle General of John. 

Ga. = Paul's Epistle tp the Galatians. 

Ge. = Genesis : The First Book of Moses. 

He. = Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews. 

Ho. = Hosea. 

Is. : = ; Isaiah. 

Ja. = The General Epistle of James. 

Jn. ■■=■ Gospel according to St. John. 

Jo. = Joel. 

Job. = The Book of Job. 

Jon. = The Book of Jonah. 

Josh. .— The Book of Joshua. 

Judg. = The Book of Judges. 

Je. = The^ook of Jeremiah. 

1. Ki. »■■""' The First Book of the Kings. 

2. Ki. — The Second Book of the Kings. 
La. «■ The Lamentations of Jeremiah. 
Lk. = Gospel according to St. Luke. ' " 
Le. = Leviticus : The /Third Book of Moses. 
Mi. = Micah. 

[ xxii ] 

Mk. = Gospel according to St. Mark. 

Mt. = Gospel according to St. Matthew. 

Na. = Nahum, 

Ne. « The Book of Nebemiah. 

Nu. = Numbers : The Fourth Book of Moses. 

1. Pe. = The First fepistle General at Peter. 

2. Pe. .= The Second Epistle General of Peter. 
Ph. = Paul's Epistle to Philippians. 

Pr. = The'Proverbs. 

Ps. « The Book of Psalms. 

Re. «■ The Revelation of St. John. 

Ro. = Pauls's Epistle to the Romans. 

1. Sa. = The First Book of Samuel. 

2. Sa. = The Second Book of Samuel. 
So. = The Softg of Solomon. 

1. Thes. = Paulas First Epistle to Thessalonians. 

2. Thes. = Paulf Second Epistle to the Thessalonians. 

1. Ti. = PaulV First Epistle to Timothy. 

2. Ti. -asa Paul's Second Epistle to Timothy 
Tt. = Paul's Epistle to Titus. 

Ze. =a Zechariah. 

(2) GENERAL , 

A AM = Abul 'Ala Mandudi, Urdu translator and commentator of the 

Holy Quran. 
"Ant." = Josephus' 'Antiquities of the Jews.' (Routledge, London). 
Aq. = Shah Abdul Qadir Deblavl (D. 1241 A,H./ 1826 CE). Urdu 

translator and commentator of the Holy Qur'an. 
ASB. = Asad's English Translation of Sahlh al-Bukharl. 

AV. = Authorised Version of the Bible/ 

AYA. sa 'Abdullah Yusuf 'All. English translator and commentator of the 

Holy Qur'an. 
Bdh = Nasir-ud-Din 'Abdullah Baidhavl (D. 685 . A.H./ 1282 C.E.). 

Commentator of the Holy Qur'an. ■ 
BK. = 'Book of Knowledge/ 4 Vols. (Educational Book Co., London). 

CD. = Pallen and Wynne's 'New ^ iGatholic Dictionary.' (New York). 

CE. =s McDannall's 'Concise Encyclopedia,' 8 Vols. (New York). 
CE. = Christian Era. 

DB. = Hastings' 'Dictionary of the Bible,' 5 Vols. (Clark, London). 

DCA. «= Smith and Cheetham's 'Dictionary of Christian Antiquities,' 
2 Vols. (Murray, London). 

[ ipriii ] 








GB. ■< 









Hasting's Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, 2 Vols. 
Douay Version of the Bible. 

Cheyne and Black's 'Encyclopedia Biklica/ 4 Vols. (Black, 

'Encyclopedia Britannica, ' 29 Vol. 1 1 th Edition. (London) . 
'Encyclopedia Britannica/ 24 Vols. 14th Edition. (London and 
New York). Where no edition is specified, the reference k to 
14th Edition. 

Houtsmaand Wensink's Encyclopedia of Islam/ 5 Vols. (Luzac, 

Hammertoes 'Encyclopedia of Modern Knowledge/ 5. Vols. 
(Waverly, New York). 

Hastings' 'Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics/ 13 Vols. (Clark, 
London) . 

Seligman's 'Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences/ 15 Vols. 
(Macmillan, London.). 

Cohen's 'Everyman's Talmud/ (Dent, London). 
Frazer's 'Worship of Nature/ 2 Vols. (Macmillan, London). 
RaggV'The Gospel of Barnabas.' (Oxford). 
Gibbon's 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire/ 7 Vols. 
(Methuen, London). 

'Historians' History of the World/ 25 Vols. (The Times, London). 
The Hibbert Journal. (Constable, London). 

Hadhrat 'Abdullah Ibn*i-' Abbas. (D. 68 A.H./688 CJE.) (A com* 
panion and cousin of the Prophet). 

Ibn-i-Qutaiba. (D. 276 A.H./890 C.E.) Author of 'Arabic Glossary 
of the Holy Qur/an/ 

'The Jewish Encyclopedia/ 12 Vols. (Funk and Wagnalls, 
New York). 

Lane's 'Arabic-English Lexicon/ 8 Vols. (Williams and Norp^ 

Lane .and Lane-Poole's 'Selections from the Kuran/ (Trubnef, 

Mawlana Mohammad 'AH: (D. 1349 AH./ 1931 C.E.) JMvm 
Muslim leader. (Not to be confused with his namesake of Lahore 
and a translator of the Qur'an). The references are to lis 
unpublished work, 'Islam: The Kingdom of God* (since published^ 
as 'My Life— -A Fragment* by Sh. M. Ashraf, Lahore). 
A New Standard Bible Dictionary (Funk & Wagnalb Go^ 
New York). 
'New Standard Dictionary of the English Language,' 4 Vols. (Fun* 

[ XXIV ] 

and Waghalls, New York) . 
NT. = The New Testament. 

OT. = The Old Testament. 

PC. r = Tylor's 'Primitive Culture/ 2 Vols. (Murray, London.) 

Rgh. = Al-Rlghib ai^Asiahani, Husain b. Muhammad, Al-Mufradat fl 

GhariB-il-Quran . 
RV == Revised Version of the Bible. 

RZ. = Imam Fakhruddin Razl. (D. 659 A.H./1209 C.E.). Well-known 

.. ^commentator of the Holy= Qur'an. 

SOED. = 'Shorter Oxford English Dictionary/ 2 Vols (Oxford). 
SPP, == Salens 'Preliminary Discourse to the Translation of the Koran/ 

prefixed as Introduction to Wherry's 'Commentary on the Kuran/ 
4 Vols. (Trubner, London). 
Th. = Maulana Ashraf 'All Thanavl (B. 1280 A. H./1864 G. E.). Urdu 

'translator and commentator of the Holy Qur'an. 
UHW. = Hammertoes 'Universal History of the World', 8 Vols. (New 

VJE. = yailentine^s 'One Volume Jewish Encyclopedia.' (London). 

WGAL.. .=' Wright's-,. 'Grammar of the Arabic , Language/ 2 Vols. 

f (Cambridge). 

Zm. = Jar-ul-lah Zamakhsharl (D. 538 A.H./1144 G.r^.). Commentator 

- / > of the Holy Qur'an. 


Stirat-ul 2 Faiiha* 

The Openings I 

(Makkan 4 7 Verses 5 ) 
In 6 the name of Allah, 7 the Compassionate, 8 the Merciful. 9 
1. (^jujV* ... ^sJJ)'.AII Praise 10 unto Allah, 1 - Lord 12 of the worlds. 13 

2 Parti 

2. (+#±) . . . jil) The Compassionate, 14 the Merciful. 16 

3. Cfj&ft;:' ■. . '■ uy-U) Sovereign 16 of the Day of Reckoning. 17 

4. ( i^jjtiyj- . » . lJU!) Thee alone we 18 worship ; 19 and of Thee alone 
we seek help 20 . 

5. ( ( ^sx^J\ . . . \J&>\) Guide us in the straight 21 path, 

6. (^JU • . , b\y*) the path of those whom Thou hast favoured. 22 

7. (^>LaM . . • y*s) On whom Thy indignation has not befallen, 23 and 
who have not gone astray. 24 

• " ' ! ■ " ' I ' .' " . ii i i iii • "«_ » ii " i i i a ■ i n i n i.i i i 

1. The Holy Qur'an is divided, for convenience' sake, in thirty parts or 
Parahs of almost equal length. 

2. A Surah is a chapter. There are 1 14 chapters in the Book, each chapter 
having been named and assigned its proper place by the Holy Prophet himself. 

3. A simple arid pithy, yet wonderfully comprehensive prelude to the Holy 
Writ. Its beauty, grandeur and self-sufficiency simply defy comparison. 'A 
vigorous hymn of praise to God ... The thoughts are so simple as to need no 
explanation, and yet the prayer is full of meaning/ [EBr. XV. p. 903 (11th Ed.) ] 

4. i. e., revealed at Makka. 

5. A verse of the Qur'an is, like a verse of the Bible, one of the short 
divisions of a chapter. 

6. A more accurate, though perhaps a little less elegant, rendering would be 
'by/ The particle ^ in &JJI ^/is £JUx«,JM>t> signifying %,' or 'through/ and is 
to be paraphrased as 'I seek the assistance of — — .' 

7. The word is incapable of translation. It is not a common noun meaning 
a 'god* or even /God/ It is a proper noun par excellence. No plural can be formed 
from it, and it is, according to the best authorities, without derivation. The word 
c6nnotes all the attributes of perfection and beauty in their infinitude, and denotes 
none but the One and Unique God, the Absolute, Supreme, Perfect, Tender, 
Mighty, Gracious, Benign and Compassionate. The English word 'God,' which 
is 'the common Teutonic word for a personal object of religious worship .... . . . 

applied to all superhuman beings of heathen mythologies who exercise power over 
nature and man/ .(EBr. X. p. 460) and which primarily meant only 'what is 
invoked' and 'what is worshipped by sacrifice/ (SOED. I. 808) can hardly be even 
an approximate substitute. 

8. i. *., the possessor of the utmost degree of mercy or compassion. The 
word , lf r- y is 'only expressive of God's love to man, and not of man's love to man, 
or to Him. The term is too strong to be used of men. All the Surahs (with one 
solitary exception) begin with this headline, which sums up in two brief, fine words 
God's relation to man — the relation par excellence of love, sympathy, concern, solici- 
tude, compassion and mercy. This in itself is sufficient to confound those detractors 

I. Surat-ul Fat/ha 

of the Qur'an, who depict the God of Islam as a Deity cruel, wrathful, and 
relentless. The God the Muslims adore and worship, whatever else He may be, is 
above all, 'the Compassionate y and 'the Merciful/ 

9. Contrast with this unreservedly monotheistic introductory formula of 
Islam the glaringly polytheistic introductory formula of Christianity :—-' In the name 
of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost/ 

10. v v,^ is not only praise but it 'also implies admiration ; and it implies the 
magnifying or honouring, of the object thereof; and lowliness, humility, or 
submissiveness, in the person who offers it/ (LL) 

11. (and Him alone). Note the absolutely monotheistic note of the very 
first words of the Holy Qur'an. It is He alone who is the recipient of all praise; 
the Praiseworthy ; the Praised One. None of His favoured angels and prophets are 
to be associated with Him, even by implication. ^ 

12. 'Lord* is but a poor substitute for the Arabic ^y which signifies not 
only the Sovereign but also the Sustainer, the Nourisher, the Regulator, and the 
Perfector. The relation in which the God of Islam stands to all His creation is 

, that of a righteous, benign Ruler, and not that of a mere 'father/ 

13." "*. e., the Universal Patron, the All-in-all Guardian. Not a tribal deity j 
nor the national God of any specially favoured race or people, nor yet the narrow 
'Lord of the Hosts' or the anthropomorphic 'our Father in heaven 5 . Unlike many 
a tribal or national -god/ embodying the spirit of a particular nation, and perishing 
with its death, He is the ever-living moral Ruler of the world. ^ *J!.*Ji signifies 'the 
several sorts of created beings or things, or all the sorts thereof; or the beings of the 
universe, or of the whole world/ (LL) Anyway, the all-embracing and ail-compre- 
hensive Godhead of .juJbM i_>) * s evident. And from the unity of the Creator 
naturally follows the essential unity of all creation. 

14. .^.a^Jl an< ^ («^>M are nam ^s or epithets applied .to God ; the former , . . 
may be rendered, 'The Compassionate* ; the latter, considered as expressive of a 
constant attribute with somewhat of intensiveness, agreeably with analogy, may be 
rendered c The Merciful' . . . . .They are both names or epithets formed to denote 
intensiveness of signification, from^^; like UaaJI from i^ai and^JW | from ^ 

15. Both words ^^ . and -j^* are derived from ^ i t N ". > which signifies 
tenderness, requiring the exercise of beneficence and thus comprising the idea of 
love and mercy. Both are intensive forms. The former denotes tenderness towards 
all His creatures in general, and the latter towards His worshippers in particular. 
The Divine attribute of Rahmat may on analysis be found to have the following as 
its components :— (1) His provision of everything beforehand that could be needed 
by man in the world; (2) His concern for the well-being of man, both in life and 
death ; (3) His tenderness for man's helplessness, and (4) a disposition on His part 
to deal kindly and generously with man. 

4 Parti 

16. Or 'owner', s. *., Master with full powers to exercise forgiveness and 
clemency : not a mere judge bound to award punishment to the guilty. 

17. (when His sovereignty shall be more evident than ever, and manifest 
even to the worst scoffers). The general Requital will follow the general Resurrec- 
tion, wherein all men, good and bad, will be judged according to their faith and 
works. The verse completely repudiates the Christian doctrine that Christ, not 
God, would be the judge. Cf. the NT : — -'For the Father judgeth no man, but hath 
committed all judgment unto the Son/ ( Jn. 5 : 22) 

18. j. e. Thy humble servants. 

19. (and none do we associate with Thee in worship.) Now begins the 
petition proper. The pronoun in j^jj ^Jlj) is placed before the verb for the sake 
of emphasis, and a very strong one is intended by prefixing the pronoun with [j>\ # 
Clearly there is no place in Islam for any Son-prophet or angel- worship. Contrast 
this with the open and avowed worship of Christ in the Christian Church. 'The 
Church ... never ceased, to offer prayer to Christ with the Father/ (ERE, I, 
p. 104). In the Catholic Church there are three distinct kinds of worship : 
{1) latria (due. to God), (2) hypudulid (due to the Virgin Mary), and (3) dulia 
(due to the saints). Islam recognizes no such distinctions. In it there is only one 
class of worship, that due to God alone. 

20.* Note again the strictly monotheistic tone of the Islamic prayer. Not 
only is there to be no creature-worship but even the invoking for help of any saint, 
prophet, angel, 'Son/ 'Daughter/ or 'Mother* is absolutely forbidden. In .Him 
alone Perfection dwells. He alone must be 'invoked. Contrast with this the 
doctrine of the Roman Church: ,. 'That the saints who reign with Christ offer to 
God their prayers for man ; that it is good and useful to invoke them by supplica- 
tion and to have recourse to their aid and assistance in order to obtain from God 
His benefits through His Son/ (EBr. XIX, p. 820) In Hinduism the invocations 
to Indra, Agni, Soma and many others are too well known to need description. 

21. (and right). IJ&&J has much wider significance than 'showing us the 
way/ What the supplicant is asking for is not merely that the way be pointed out or 
verbally indicated to him, but that he may, by the Divine grace, be actually led on 
to his goal, — the Guide, as if, accompanying the guided and leading him on and on. 

22. (in the matter of right guidance such as Thy prophets and saints) . 

23. (in consequence of their wilful and deliberate choice of the path of 
perdition). A strictly literal rendering would be, 'who are angered upon/ The 
anger of God 'is His disapproving of the conduct of him who, disobeys Him, and 
whom He will therefore punish/ (LL) 'Righteous Indignation' has been defined in 
modern psychology as resentment come to the aid of the moral feelings, — retribution 
that must overtake wrongdoers and the tyrants and oppressors of mankind; and 
surely no indignation can be more righteous than the Divine one. It is a timid 
philosophy that hesitates to hate and condemn the evil and the evildoer in the 

SBrat-v/ FStiha 

strongest terms. For the 'wrath' of God compare the QT i— 'Let me alone that 
my wrathj may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them/ (Ex. 32 : 
9-10) 'I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure, wherewith the Lord .was wroth 
against you/ (Dt. 9 : 19) And the NT :— 'O generation of vipers, who hath 
warned you to flee from the wrath to come ?' (Mt. 3 : 7) c And he treadeth the 
winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God/ (Re. 19 : 15) 

24. £. *., those who have deviated from the right course owing to their 
heedlessness and want of proper serious thinking. 


The Cow 25 II 

Medinian 26 — 40 Sections, 27 286 Verses 

In the name of AHah, the Compassionate, the Merciful. 


1. (jjl) Alif-LSm-MIm 28 

2. (.ufisul). . .cJJiii This 29 Book 30 whereof there is no doubt 31 is a 
guidance 82 to the God fearing, 33 

//. SUrat-ul-Baqarah 

3. (^jjMJLi..-. ,^aJ5)w,ho believe 3 * in the Unseen, 36 and establish prayer, 86 
and of what We have provided them expend, 37 

4. (^yiSjj. . ^dJU) and who believe in what has been sent down to 
thee, 38 and what has been sent down before thee, 38 and of the Hereafter 40 they 
are convinced. 41 

25/ The title of this chapter was occasioned by the mention of yellow cow 
in verses 66-73. 

26. i. e. } revealed at Madina. 

27. Another structural division of every, Surah is into 'sections' of various 

28. Three letters of the Arabic alphabet .generally held to be symbolic of 
some profound and sublime mystic verities. -'God knows best what He means by 
these letters/ (Th) Some, however, on the authority of IA. consider the letters to 
be an abbreviation of some such phrase as ^^ &JJJ ijj which means 'I am Allah, the 
best Knower/ The Arabic orators sometimes used to open their discourses with 
similar vocables. Also compare Ps. 119 in the OT, where the Psalmist has arranged 
his meditations in an elaborate alphabetical form. It has been* called the alphabet 
of Divine Love. 

29. The demonstrative pronoun cJJii usually indicates remoteness of 
distance, but sometimes, as here, has the force of suggesting esteem, honour, grand- 
ness, and high value. 

30. l^Ix5 is literally a writing, or a written revelation. The Qur^an thus 
at its very beginning declares itself to be a written, not an oral, Revelation, passing 
only from mouth to mouth for generations. It is 'Book' essentially, and not by 
accident. Unlike the 'sacred literatures* 'of other religions; it is a- single Book from 
the very start, and not a collection or a literature, grown and developed and 
composed at different periods by different hands reflecting the history of their times. 
It is even in this 20th century of the Christian era, The Book par excellence, 'the most 
widely-read book in existence/ (EBr. XV, p. 898, 11th Ed.) 'Though the youngest 
of the epoch-making books, the Koran is the most widely-read book ever written/ 
(Hitti, History of the Arabs, p. 126) 

31. (that it is the immediate, infallible word of God.) The Qur*an differs 
from all other 'sacred literatures* in claiming • to be inspired in the strictest sense, 
each and every word of it being the word of God Himself and in its being preserved 
in its original purity. &jj may also mean 'wherein*. On this construction the 
purport would be: This is a Book in which nothing is doubtful but everything 
is absolutely true and strictly accurate ; not changeable like human knowledge. 

32. Not a text-book of chronology or of physical science, but a Guidance,— 
showing the right way to right beliefs and right conduct. 'Not a book meant to be 

8 Part I 

read as. most Europeans read it to-day sitting comfortably in an arm-chair with the 
critical faculties specially stimulated, ready to carp and cavil on the least provoca- 
tion. It was not revealed for the Arabs as 'literature* designed only to please, 
though it was admitted by the most inveterate enemies of the Prophet to be superior 
to any existing 'literature' in the language of which they were proud . . . And yet it 
was not its literary excellence that had the chief significance for those for whom it 
was revealed in this fragmentary fashion. To them it was a Holy Writ, God's 
Commandment, the Law and the Ethics according to which they had to shape their 
lives.' (MA) 

33. i. e. t those who have an inner moral sense; are not devoid of a con- 
science ; are God-conscious. 

34. Belief, as defined in modern psychology, is the mental state of assurance 
or conviction in which a mind accepts and endorses its experience as corresponding 
with reality,— the reality, assented to and endorsed in the case of religious belief, of 
course being of a far wider, far deeper, and far more comprehensive nature than 
reality elsewhere. With belief, in this sense, there invariably emerges a sense of 
security, a feeling of satisfaction that the road to salvation has been found — a 
subsuming of oneself in the all-comprising Reality. 

35. i. e., what lies beyond this world of sense and is undiscernible by mere 
reason; such things as Resurrection, Paradise, Hell, etc. ^^i is 'anything unper- 
ceivable : absent from the range, or beyond the reach of perception by sense, or of 
mental perception : or undiscoverable unless by means of Divine revelation.' (LL) 
Now this 'Unseen' or Great Beyond is the very breath of religion. Whoever 
disbelieves in it, disbelieves in religion altogether. 'Were one asked', says the 

•eminent Harvard psychologist, William James, 'to characterise the life of religion 
in the broadest and most general terms possible, one might say that there is an unseen 
order, and that our supreme good lies iu harmoniously adjusting ourselves thereto. 
This belief and this adjustment are the religious attitude in the soul.' (Varieties of 
Religious Experience, p. 53) The reality, the existence, of this Great Beyond, so long 
ignored or even denied and ridiculed by the materialistic West, is at long last being 
recognised by modern science. Says a leading British' archaeologist of the day:; — 
"The unsound materialistic teaching ®f the past generation obscured this great fact 
of existence. Too much emphasis was placed on what was cjubbed 'Reason/ and 
too little on Intuition." (Marston, The Bible is True, p. 214) fThe recognition 
by modern science of the reality of the. Unseen has dealt a death-blow to materia- 
lism.* (Marston, The Bible Comes Alive, p. 252) 

36'. (at its proper time and with full observance of its rules and conditions). 
Prayer on our partis the truest recognition of God's supreme and infinite excel- 
lence and our total submission to it. 

37. (in the cause of God and religion). 

38. (O Prophet!). 


39. (to other prophets of diverse nations and countries). 

40. i. e. y of the fact of the Judgment-Day. 

41. Not a mere feeling, or suspicion, or opinion, but firm, unshakable 
adherence of mind to the truth of the Hereafter because revealed by God. 
Conviction, in its fulness, is not an exercise of the intellect, but the assent and 
consent of the entire human personality — the recognition of a truth with heart, mind 
and soul. The reaction set up by the belief in the Hereafter in the minds of 
humble believers is far stronger than that due to sensible perceptions. 

10 Part I 

npfr '" .' " ' " ' ' ' ' ' ' ,jff 

5. ( ^jaaJUu. . .cJ^ajJ) These are on guidance from their Lord, 4 * and 
these are the blissful ones. 43 

6. ( . jJUjj. .- .^iMijjO Sureiy those who have disbelieved, 44 it is alike to 
them whether thou hastwarned them or hast not warned them ; 45 they will not 
believe 46 . 

7. (^^ LsM*.-.. .*lJt *xa>) Allah has set a seal on their hearts 47 and on 
their hearing, and on their sight is a covering, 48 and for them shall be a torment 
mighty. 49 


8 - {&** ** • .tfUJI^,) And of mankind are some who say : we 
believe in Allah and in the Last Day, yet they are not believers. 50 

9. Lj^U . . . ^£±sJ) They would deceive Allah and those who 
believe, 51 whereas they deceive not save themselves, 52 and they perceive not. 

10. ( jjjZXj. . . tv.i&-s*) ,n their hearts is a disease. 53 so Allah has increased 
unto them that disease, 54 and for them shall be a torment afflictive 55 for they have 
been lying. 56 

11 - (en» J ^- • -J^'}) And when itis said t0 them :5? make no * 
mischief on the earth 58 they say : we are but reformists. 59 

12# Li)*^' • -f^"') Sure| y lt is they who are the mischief-makers and 
yet they realise not. 

42. To sum up : the rightly-guided and the God-fearing are distinguished 
by (a) their belief in the unseen Beyond, (b) their intense devotion to their Creator 
(or their steadfastness in prayers), (c) their benevolence to their fellow-creatures 
(or the free spending of their possessions), (d) their belief in the Prophet's apostle- 
ship; (e) their belief in all previous Books, and ■ (■/) their firm belief in the 

43. (in this^ world by receiving the true guidance, and in the Next, by 
getting the full reward thereof). There is no word in English to convey the full 

//. SUrat-ul Baqarah 11 

sense of ? flj and ^^JU** • 'There is not in the language of the Arabs any word 
more comprehensive in its significations of what is good in the present life and in 

the final state than C 3UM-' ( LL ) 

44. (and still choose to remain infidels). 

45. (O Prophet!). 

46. (because they have no will to believe). 

47. (by their being inured to the acts of disobedience and infidelity). 
'Heart/ in the Qur'an as in the Bible, is the seat of all emotional, intellectual and 
volitional life, and the centre of all moral and spiritual functions. Note that the 
Divine sealing of the hearts follows the deliberate choice of disbelief, and not causes it. 

48. All this is the natural and inevitable sequel to the rejectors' obstinate 
refusal to open their- hearts to receive, their ears to hear, and their eyes to 'see the 
good and the true, and is only ascribable to God as all acts, as such, are ultimately 
bound to be ascribed to Him. It is those who will not believe that are condemned 
to judicial blindness which portends the more awful punishment of Hell, Cf the 
NT : _ 'Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand : and seeing ye shall see, and 
not perceive : For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of 
hearing and their eyes have they closed/ (Ac. 28: 25-27) /And for this cause 
God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie/ (2 Thes. 2 : 11) 
And also the OT:— 'They have not known nor understood : for he hath shut their 
eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand.' 
(Is. 44 : 18) 'The Lord hath forced out upon you the spirit of deep sleep/and hath 
closed your eyes/ (29 : 10) ^ 

49. (in the Hereafter). A just retribution, after, the last judgment, to the 
finally impenitent. ^^ 'generally signifies any corporal punishment ; and, by an 
extension of the original signification, any implication of pain that disgraces or 
puts to shame; originally, beating; afterwards used to signify any painful punish- 
ment, torture, or torment/ (LL) Cf its mention in the Bible. 'And many of them 
that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, . .-. some to shame and everlasting 
contempt/ (Dn. 12: 2) 'And these shall go away into everlasting punishment/ 
(Mt. 25:46) 

50. (at heart, and in fact). The preceding section spoke of two classes of 
people, the believers and the unbelievers. The present section describes another 
class— really a sub-variety of the disbelieving class — the 'hypocrites' or the dissem- 
blers who abounded in Madina. This singular class of people professed Islam with 
their lips and pretended to be good and faithful Muslims, yet were not only infidels 
at heart but inveterate enemies of the Messenger and the Message he had brought. 

51. (by concealing infidelity and pretending belief.) 

52. i. *., their mendacity will recoil on themselves both in this world and 
the Hereafter. 

53 . (which they are developing and their principles of action are perverted) . 

12 Part I 

\. ■.-..',..'.■■•• ■ 

54. Cf. the Bible :— 'My people would hot hearken to my voice ... so I 
gave them up unto their own hearts' lust ; and they walked in their own counsels'. 
(Ps. 81: 11-12)) 'Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of 
heaven' (Ac. 7 : 42). 'Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, through 
the lusts of their own hearts/ (Roj 1 : 24) 

55. This retribution for their habits of dissimulation and deceit, as apart 
from their sin of infidelity, is distinguished by its being specially afflictive. 

56. Compare the lot of the hypocrites in the sacred literature of the Jews ■:— 
'Let God destroy them that live in hypocrisy in the company of the saints . ... Let 
the ravens peek but the eyes of the men that work hypocrisy/ (JE. VI. p. 514) 
'Every person in whom is hypocrisy brings wrath upon the world, his prayer remains 
unheard, is cursed even by the embryos in their mothers' womb, and will fall into 
Gehinnom.' (ET. p. 107) In the Christian Scripture they are compared to 'whited 
sepulchres, outwardly beautiful but full of uncleanness' (Mt. 23 : 27) and to 'tombs 
whichXappear not' (Lk. 11 : 44) and which defile all who come in contact with 

57. (by the holy Prophet and the Muslims). 

58. (by propagating irreligion and impiety). 

59. So utterly wanting were they either in understanding or. piety or both 
that they reversed the true order of things, 'mistaking their vice for virtue, and 
calling corruption by the name of righteousness. 

//. SUrat-uJ Baqarah 13 

',1$m\&$$\$\& & ■■<&&#.&; 'X&*£&& £&m£\\Z 

13. ( ur JU,». . . J*3' lii j) And when it is said to them: believe 60 as people 
have believed, they say : shall we believe as the fools have believed ? 61 Surely 
it is they who are the fools, and yet they know not. 

14 ' (^j****.- • -^^M l** j tel)) And when they meet those who have 
believed they say : M we believe. And when they are alone with their devils 68 they 
say : surely we are with you ; we were but mocking. 64 

1 ®' ( e) ft***' • -*y I) A'lah mocks back at them, 6 * and lets them wander 
bewildered 66 in their insolence. 

16, (^*\x^....lJ;XJ 5 I) These are they who have purchased error for 
guidance 67 but their commerce profited them not, nor have they ever become 

17. (^ 5 r^ $• • -ffrlt*) Their likeness 68 is as the likeness of him who 
kindled a fire, 69 then when it lit up what was around him, 70 Allah took away their 
light 71 and left them in darkness where they see not 72 — -- 

18. (^^.yj. . .+*) Deaf, 78 dumb 74 , blind, 75 wherefore they will not return 
to light 16 " ■ " 

19, {pjjM&i. . .L^x^i) Or, 77 like a rain-laden cloud from heaven, 78 
wherein are darkness, thunder and lightning. 79 They 80 put their fingers in their 
ears because of the thunder-claps, fearful of death, 81 while Allah has encom- 
passed the disbelievers. 82 

60. i. e., come to believe in the truth of the true religion. 

61. Another instance of the hypocrites* muddied thinking and queer morals. 
First they mistook vice for virtue (vide verse 11) and now they are mistaking virtue 
for vice. (Th) 

62. (in order to win the goodwill of the influential and the well-to-do among 
the believers). 

63. i. e., their chiefs and leaders and their fellow-dissemblers. Jjajjfc if not 
preceded by the definite article || signifies, 'Any that is excessively, or inordinately, 

14 Part I 

proud or corrupt or unbelieving or rebellious, or that is insolent and audacious in 
Pfcide and in acts of rebellion/ (LL) )\ is here used in the sense of £*♦• 

64. - : (at the Muslims ; making a jest of them). 

65. Or* 'shall requite them with punishment for mockery* {IQ,) For the 
Biblical use of mockery and laughter in reference to God, compare the following :— 
'Ye have set at naught all my counsel, and would none of my reproof. I also will 
laugh at your calamity : I will mock when your fear cometh/ (Pr. 1 : 25-26) 'But 
thou, O Lord, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision/ 
(Ps. 59:8) 

66. That is what the Divine mockery comes to, ,j— ^ is to go repeatedly to 
and fro, in confusion and perplexity, unable to see the right course. (LL) Cf. the 
Bible : — 'They that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reao the same. By the blast of 
God they. perish, and by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed.' (Job. 4 : 8, 9) 

67. (by their deliberate choice of the path of error, guilt and impiety). 

68. . u e. 9 the predicament in which the hypocrites really are. 

69. i. e. 9 who lights the torch of truth and guidance. The allusion is to the 
holy Prophet. 

70. i. e. 9 when it had made every truth bright and clear. 

71. (in consequence of their habitual dissimulation). 

72. The simile is a mixed one. It was the holy Prophet who lighted the 
torch of truth and guidance ; and it illuminated everything around. Then the 
habitual offenders, the 'hypocrites/ in sheer perfidy, deprived themselves of their 
sense of seeing, and therefore remained in darkness. (AQ) 

73. (to the call of religion). 

74. i. e. t incapable of uttering truth. 

75. i. *., incapable of seeing the true and the good. 

76. (to the Path). 

77. The Madina hypocrites were of two varieties. One class of them were 
rejecters of faith outright and only managed to disguise their views and beliefs. The 
parable in the vv. 17-18 refers to this class of dissemblers. The other group were 
not so definite and positive in their rejection of the faith. They wavered, swinging 
to and fro, like some of the modern 'sceptics'. They are the subject of the parable 
in the vv. 19-20. 

78. This alludes in the parable to the advent of Islam. 

79. This alludes to the vicissitudes of early Islam, inevitable at the time. 

80. i.e., the waverers. 

81. This refers to the weakness of their heart, and to their 'safety first' 

82. (so that none are able to escape Him). 

II. SUrat-ul-Baqarah 15 

rijxx ; . gy> .. 


3 #3 SP^^^ft^ 

20. (yjt&. . .*&j) The lightning weJI-nigh snatches away their sight; 
whensoever it flashes on them, they walk therein, 83 and when it becomes dark 
they stand still. 34 And had Allah willed He would assuredly have taken away 
their hearing and their sights. 85 Surely Allah is Potent 86 oyer everything, 

2*\. ( ^ax;".- w^LU'ltfcil L>) mankind ! 87 worship your Lord who has 
created you 88 and those before you, 89 haply you may become God-fearing. 

22- ( #I5- JU3. . . 3JI) Who has made the earth for you 90 a carpet 01 and 
the heaven 92 a canopy and sent down from heaven water 93 and brought forth 
therewith fruits as a provision for you, 94 set not up compeers to Allah, while you 
know 95 

23 - ( ..%*****• • «J .) Anc * if you are in doubt 96 concerning what We have 
sent down 97 upon Our bondman 98 then bring a chapter like it 99 , and call upon 
your witnesses, 100 besides Allah, if you are truthful. 

24. -( yxt)-', vj 1 ^) But 'f y° u do not, and you cannot 101 then dread 
the Fire 103 whose fuel is men and stones, 103 prepared for the disbelievers. 104 

83. i. *., attracted momentarily by the glory and lightning success of Islam, 
the waverers advance a few steps towards it. 

84. (in their place). So the trials and tribulations of the early days of 
Islam scared them away. 

85. (as He did in times of old). 'And when they came down to him : 
Elisha prayed unto the Lord, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. 
And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha/ (2 Ki, 6:18) 

86. y^ . . .and yj^f may signify the same Possessing power, or ability . . . 
j^j has an intensive signification/ and 'signifies he who does what he will, 

according to what wisdom requires, not more nor less ; and therefore this epithet is 
applied to none but God/ (LL.) 

87. The message of the Qur'an is addressed to the whole of mankind, not 
to any section of it, conditioned by race, colour or country. The components of 
this Message are a belief in the unity of God, and a belief iri the messengership of 

16 ^_ . to* ' 

Muhammad (on him be peace !). And these two grand and central truths are now 
formally presented in this verse and the three succeeding verses. To believe in Him 
and His unity the Holy Qur'an commands us as well as persuades us. In this verse 
are elements both of command and persuasion happily blended. 

88. (out of nothing, and not simply evolved you out of something pre- 
existing). Nor has man, as. claimed by pantheists, emanated from God. 'Creation' 
negatives all other forms of production. 

89. i. e. 9 your remote ancestors ; or other beings created before man. The 
purport is : look at the history of the past. On reflection you will see for yourself 
that He alone, your Sustainer and Creator, the Mighty, the Supreme, is worthy of 
your worship ; and there is no chain of inferior gods or demi-gods, beside Him. 

90. So it is man for whose benefit the earth is created and not vice versa. 
The very idea of man bowing before an 'earth-god' is monstrous. 

9L fi\yj is, literally, a thing that is spread upon the ground, 'a thing that 
is spread for one to sit or lie upon/ (LL) Whatever its exact form and figure, this 
description of the earth, that it is for all living creatures a huge something to walk 
upon, to stan.d upon, to sit upon, or to lie upon, is an ideal one, which we all can 
admire, but none can improve upon. 

92. >U* is, literally, 'the higher, or highest, or upper, or uppermost, part 
of anything/ (LL) Essentially it is the upper part of the universe in contradiction 
to the earth. The main idea underlying the word is that it is a thing above us, a 
thing so immeasurably high above us that in the space in-between we can raise our * 
highest buildings, and raise our loftiest edifices : just as the main idea underlying 
the word J>A is is a thing beneath us--under our feet. The Bible makes 
'heaven' the dwelling-place of God. 'The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord's 
throne is in heaven,' (Ps. 11:4) 'The Lord .looketh from heaven .. From the 
place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth.' (33 : 13, 
14). It is hardly necessary to add that Islam looks upon the idea of God occupying 
a certain space as preposterous. 

93. This does away with all conceptions of a 'sky-god' and a 'rain-god.' 

94. The Qur'an, as already noted, is in no sense a text-book of the ever- 
changing physical sciences, and even incidentally makes no mention of astronomi- 
cal and geographical facts as such. Various phenomena of nature, as they appear 
to an average layman, clear of scientific bias one way or the other, it only brings in 
to establish, strengthen and illustrate its central theme — the undivided and indivi- 
sible Sovereignty of the Lord-God — and to uproot the divinity of all minor 'gods,' 
such as corn-god, fruit-god, etc. 

95. (intuitively, that He alone is capable of creating these objects and 
effecting these changes). Everyone is endowed with this intuitive consciousness. 

96. (as to its being from God and suppose it to be a human production). 
Now begins the enunciation of the second part of the Islamic creed — the 

//. Surat-ul-Baqarah 17 

messengership of the holy Prophet. 

97. i. e.\ the holy Qu'r'an J|y| is to send down butJ^jLJ is much stronger, 
and t.; must be translated as 'revealed/ 

98. i.~e. 9 the holy Prophet Muhammad (on him be peace !). Mark that 
the greatest of messengers and apostles and the recipient of the highest honour 
possible is but a servant, a slave, a 'bondsman of God/ having not the remotest 
community of nature with Him. Not an Avatar, nor an Incarnation, nor a Son, 
nor yet an actual embodiment of Godhead ; but a mere mortal, who would only 
convey to his brother men a fuller knowledge of the Divine mind and will. In the 
Bible also, the phrase 'servants of Yahwa, is honorific and not disparaging/ 
(EBi. c. 4398) Bondage to God really implies emancipation from all other servitudes. 

99. (in the surpassing excellence of its contents, in the grandeur of its langu- 
age and style, and most of all in the completeness and all-sufficiency of its teachings). 
'This book, a strong living voice, is meant for oral recitation and should be heard 
in the original to be appreciated. No small measure of its force lies in its rhyme 
and rhetoric and in the cadence and sweep, which cannot be reproduced in transla- 
tion without loss/ (Hitti, op. cit., p. 127) 

100. (who will testify as to your having successfully met the challenge). 

101. Here is a most provoking challenge to the enemies of Islam, both 
ancient and modern, that has remained unanswered all these fourteen centuries, and 
is a unique standing miracle. 

102. Cf. the Bible :— 'Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire ? 
Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings V (Is. 33 : 14) 'Their worm 
shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched/ (Is. 66 : 24) 'It is better for 
them to enter into life, halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet 
to be cast into everlasting fire . . It is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, 
rather than having two eyes to be cast into Hell-fire/' (Mt. 18 : 8-9) 'It is better for 
thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire 
that never shall be quenched : where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quench- 
ed/ (Mk: 9:43-44) 

103. These stone?, which the polytheists worshipped and of which they 
carved idols and images, would be placed in the Hell alongside their worshippers 
to increase their mental agony and torture. Polytheism has almost invariably 
manifested itself in stone-worshipping, and 'sacred stones' are perhaps the commo- 
nest type of idols. 'All the world over and at all periods of history, we find among 
the most common objects of human worship certain blocks of stone/ (Allen, Evolu- 
tion of the Idea of God, p. 40) 'The worship of holy sfones is one of the oldest forms 
of religion of which evidence has been preserved to us, and one of the most univer- 
sal/ (EBi. c. 2979) 

104. The Hell-fire is thus intended, primarily and mainly, for the infidels, 
the outright rejectors of faith, and not for mere sinners. 

18 Part I 

25. ( ^Ji^. . ,^ A And give thou 105 the glad tidings to those who 
believe and. do righteous work that surely for them shall be Gardens beneath 
which rivers flow. Whenever they will be provided with fruit therefrom, 100 they 
shall say : this is that with which we were provided before ; and they shall 
be given things consimilar, 107 and for them shall be therein spouses purified/ 08 
and therein they shall be abiders. 

^' (to^rAMr . . J) Surely Allah is not ashamed to use a similitude, 109 
be it of a gnat 110 or of aught above it. 111 Then as to those who believe, they know 
that it is the tr\uth from their Lord. 112 And as to those who disbelieve, they say : 
what did Allah 113 intend by this similitude? Many He sends astray thereby 114 and 
many He guides thereby, and He sends not astray thereby any except the trans- 
gressors 116 — 

27. ( ftW ^ . *j£JO who break, the covenant of Allah 110 after its 
ratification 117 , and cut asunder what Allah has commanded to be joined 118 and 
make mischief in the land. 119 It is they who are the losers. 120 

105. (O Prophet!). 

106. i. e. 9 from the Gardens of Paradise. 

107. i. e., fruits similar either to each other, or those of the earth. To add 
to their enjoyment and entertainment, the blessed in the Paradise will be supplied 
with fruits closely resembling in colour and appearance pt each other or those of the 
earth, though of course infinitely superior. The passage may also well hint at the 
close resemblance between the good works performed in this world and their spiri- 
tual fruits or counterparts in the Hereafter. 

108. gjJa* Lr| are 'wives purified from the pollution of the menstrual 
discharge and the other natural evacuations/ (LL) Human personality, once its 
survival is admitted, survives in its totality, and not in part only. And if there is a 
blessed, eternal life in the Paradise, it must be in its complete fulness. Without loss 
or diminution of any of the intellectual, emotional, and volitional, even sensual 
factors that enrich the earthly life,— excluding, of course, all taint of vice. Lack 

//. SBrat-u/-Baqarah 19 

of conjugal love and- happiness would surely be an impoverishment, not an enhance- 
ment, of the life to come. Survival of human personality, if at all, must be in its 
entirety, and not only in its.abstract, intellectual parts* 

109. A (jt^ in the Quranic sense is not an allegory, but a similitude, with 
some moral or religious application. 

1 10. This is said in answer to the objection of the pagans that the Qur'an 
condescends to speak of such humble objects. as the spider, the bee, and the fly. The 
Qur'an answers, in effect, that there is nothing undignified in the mention of these 
creatures of God, or of any creature still lower. 

111. (in smallness, provided it serves the purpose of illustration well). 

1 12. (and also very much to the point). 'Fly* and 'spider* have been used 
in the Qur'an to illustrate the utter incompetency and helplessness of idols and 
'gods;* and they serve their purpose of illustration exceedingly well. 

113. &JJ| is here uttered by pagans, hence its translation can also be 'God/ 

114. i. e., by parables like these. 

115. i. e., those who wish to go astray themselves. Disobedience and trans- 
gression, when formed as habits, preclude the desire for knowledge, the search after 
truth. -, !j is one who habitually goes forth, or departs, from the bounds of 
obedience, or is a confirmed sinner or transgressor. 

116. (to obey Him and His messengers implicity). s^c is an injunction as 
well as a compact. 

117. (by themselves). This refers to the instinct of religion innate in every 
human being. 

118. By this are meant the duties and obligations imposed by God towards 
Himself and towards one's parents, family, neighbours, community, country and' 
fellow-creatures in general. 

119. This has reference both to moral corruption and material disorder; the 
first, because they rejected the true faith and propagated their false principles of 
ir religion and immorality ; and the second, because they created disturbances and 
feuds and caused wanton bloodshed. 

120. (both immediately, by being bereft of peace of mind, and in the long 
run, by being deprived of eternal bliss). 

20 Part I 


28. (^^y. . .lS$J) How will you disbelieve in Allah whereas you were 
lifeless 181 and He gave you life ; 122 thereafter He will cause you to die" 3 , then He 
will give you life, 124 and then unto Him you shall be returned. 125 

29. (hiJU . . iilyb) He it is Who created for you 126 all that is on the 
earth, 127 then He turned to the heaven, 128 and formed them seven heavens. 122 
And He is of everything the Knower. 180 



30. ( ^jjbtf. . .31 5 ) And recall when 131 thy Lord said to the angels : 
surely I am going to place a vicegerent 133 on the earth 134 . They said : 138 wilt 
Thou place therein one who will act corruptly therein and shed blood, 136 while we 
hallow Thy praise and glorify Thee ? 137 Allah said : verily I Know what you do 
hot know. 138 

31 - {&*?**— <^ 5 ) And He tau 9 ht Adam139 the namds, 140 all of 
them; 141 then He set them before the angels, 142 and said ; declare to me the 
names of those, if you are truthful. 143 

32. (^^CsJl. . .t^tf) They said: hallowed be Thou ! no knowledge have 
we save what Thou hast taught us 144 , surely Thou alone art the Knower, 146 the 
Wise. 148 

33. ( v ,*JK5. . .JU) Allah said: Adam ! declare thou to them the 
names 147 of those objects. Then when he had declared to them the names of 
thpse objects r He said : did I not tell you, surely I know the hidden in the 
heavens and the earth and know that which you disclose and what you have 
been concealing ? 148 


(in the loin? of your fathers) . 


(in the wombs of your mothers). 


(at the appointed time of your death). 


(on the Day of Resurrection). 


(for final retribution). 

//. Surat-ulBaqarah 21 

126. i. *., for your use* for your benefit, O mankind ! 

127. However immense in size and huge in strength those objects may be, 
man is the master of all. He is not to bow down before any of them. The very 
idea of creature-worship is repellent. 

128. Or, 'He directed Himself to the heaven.* ^L**JI ^1 ^j^utf 5 1S meta " 
phorically said of God, meaning, 'Then He directed Himself by His will to the 
heaven j or elevated regions, or upwards, or to the heavenly bodies/ (LL) 

129. The Qur'an agrees in this respect with the Bible. 'The conception of 
the heavens which pervades the OT and the NT . . . is that of a series of seven 
heavens/ (DB. II, p. 322) 

130. (so He is fully cognisant of all human needs and requirements). 

131. (before the creation of man). 

132. (to give them an opportunity to express themselves) . Angels are 
super-terrestrial, incorporeal, real and objective beings, not personified qualities and 
abstractions. They are faithful servants of God and His trusted messengers, and 
as pure spirits absolutely sinless and incorruptible. They are, in Islam, as unmis- 
takably distinct from 'gods' as from men ; and Islam knows no such things as 'fallen 
angels' or 'degraded gods'. 

133. Mark that this vicegerent is a created being, and, as such entirely 
and sharply marked off from God, the Creator. JVfark again that the primary 
purpose of man in this world is to act as the vicegerent of God, and to establish in 
His name a complete and perfect theocracy. 

134. (to execute, enforce and administer My laws therein). And it is for 
this purpose of Divine vicegerency that man is endowed with a full-developed will, 
as distinct from instinct of his own, 

135. Not by way of protest or complaint but out of excess of loyalty and 
devotion, 'as the most devoted bondsmen who could hardly bear their Beloved 
Master employ a new servant besides them, for any of His services/ (Th) 

136. This the angels surmised from man's constitution. And this is endorsed 
by the teaching of modern Psychology that man's primary instincts are predatory 
and individualistic rather than social. 

137. i. *., We extol the Holiness both of Thee and Thy Attributes, and 
we are, by Thy grace, incapable of going wrong, while this new being, called man 
may be presumed to go wrong sometimes, and the disobedient among his kind may 
oifend Thee, our Lord ! 

138. (of man's nature, and his capacities, and of his special aptitude for 
Divine vicegerency). A corrective angelolatry. Angels are not co-equal with God 
in respect of knowledge even. 

139. The first progenitor of the human race. He was a prophet. 

140. (of all things, and infused into his heart the knowledge of their 
properties). , 

22 Part I 

141. u *., the objects of which they were the names. 

142. (in order to demonstrate man's supreme competency, in preference to 
angels, for Divine vicegerency on theJearth. . 

143. (and are right in supposing that you were equally competent to serve 
as God's vicegerent on the earth) . 

144. Another death-blow to- the doctrine of angelolatry. Angels far from 
being omnipotent have only a very limited knowledge. 

145. i. e.> the Possessor of infinite knowledge, and knowing the capacity of 
every one of Thy creatures. 

146. i. ety the Possessor of infinite wisdom, and endowing every one of Thy 
creatures, man or angel, with as much of knowledge as fitted him and accorded with 
his capacity. 

147. (and properties) . 

148. This is an amplified restatement of v. 30 : "Verily I know that which 
ye know not ■;" and the address here is to all sentient creatures. 

//. Surat-u/'Baqarah 23 

»>*Jl . ' • ___ y^Tl 

^■■' (^^'- ■• -^ 5) And recall when We said to the angels : 149 prostrate 
yourselves before Adam, 150 they prostrated themselves, but not IblTs; 161 he 
refused 162 and was stiff-necked, and became one of the disbelievers. 163 

3£>- ( .jwJtkM. . .UlS .) And We said : Adam i dwell thou and thy 
spouse 164 in the Garden, and eat both of you plentifully thereof as you desire, but 
do not approach, both of you, you nder tree, 155 lest you become of the.transgres- 

36. ( ^a^ . x^y 3U) Then the Satan 156 caused the twain to slip 157 there- 
from 158 and drove forth the twain frorh whai: they were in. 159 And We said : get 
you 160 ail down, each of you as enemy of each, 161 and on the earth will be an 
abode for you and enjoyment 162 for a time. 163 

37. (^^jj. . . J.X&) Thfeh Adam learnt certain words^ 64 from his Lord, 
and He relented towards Him 165 . Surely it is He Who is Relenting, 166 Merciful. 167 

38. ( .jjjjsa-! UX>) We said : get down all of you from "here, 168 and if 
there comes to you guidance from Me, 169 then whoso follows My guidance, no 
fear 170 shall come on them, nor shall they grieve. 171 

39; ( .^JUL, . vvjjJI 5 ) And those who disbelieve and belie Our signs, 
they shall be inmates of the Fire ; therein they shall abide. 172 

149. (as also to all other creatures lower than the angels). 

150. (by way of acknowledging him as God's vicegerent on the earth and 
paying homage to him as such). 

151. \y^gL>\ literally, is 'the disappointed one\ He was not an angel but a 
jinn, as expressly mentioned in the Qur'an (S; Kahf, verse 50) jj) is not always 
synonymous with -except' or 'save/ but it also denotes, as here, 'but not/ 

152. (to bow down through conceit) . 

153. (for disobeying a clear Divine command !). 

154. (who also had^been created by this time). 

155. Note that the tree remains nameless and unspecified in the Qur'an. 

156. (who on his banishment from the Paradise-Garden had by now become 

24 , Part I 

a sworn enemy of Adam and his descendants). The root verb fo,v. means, 'He 
was, or became, remote or far, from the truth, and from the mercy of God'. (LL) 

157. (by his cunning and by some clever stratagem, the nature of .which 
could not be perceived by Adam and his consort). Ibiis, it is related in the tradi- 
tions of the Prophet, went up to Adam and his consort in disguise and affecting his 
true friendship and fidelity to them, offered to show them the way to the tree of 
eternity, the fruit of which shall cause them never to separate from Allah's pre- 
sence,— the very thing that they longed most — and swore to them by Allah that he 
was their most faithful adviser. It was thus that they partook of the forbidden fruit. 
There was none of wilful and deliberate disobedience on the part of Adam. He 
was simply * taken in/ 

158. i. e. 9 on account of the tree. The^pronoun U in t$JU refers to the 
tree and the preposition ^ is denotative of cause, signifying 'because oV or 'on 
account of/ An alternative rendering 'to slip therefrom/ 

159. This may mean either the happy state they were in, or the happy place 
they were in — -the Paradise. 

160. (all). The number is plural, not dual : and the address is to the entire 
progeny of Adam yet unborn. 

161. This refers to the mutual enmity in which mankind live. 

162. (of life). The words ctx* and j&U* both imply the ephemeral 
nature of the earthy existence. 

163. *. *., till the expiration of your terms ot life; life on earth shall not 
be eternal, but only for a short duration. 

164. (of penitence). To inspire the guilty with words and expressions of 
remorse and contrition is only a manifestation of Divine grace and mercy, 

165. (and accepted his repentance). 

166. The Prophet 'was never tired of telling the people how God was 
Very -Forgiving, that His love for men was more tender than of the mother-bird for 
her young/ (LSK. Intro, p. LXXX). 

167. i. e., the possessor of much mercy, and exercising it very frequently. 

168. (O mankind !) This is not by way of penalty, as the sin has been by 
now forgiven. Incapacity to enjoy the blissfulness of Paradise was perhaps the 
natural and inevitable result of eating the fruit of a particular tree ; and physical 
consequences are indelible even when all moral taint has been swept away. A would- 
be suicide, for instance, if, after taking poison, sincerely regrets his act and repents, 
his sin might well be fully condoned, yet no amount of contrition may undo the 
deadly physical action of the poison. 

169. (through prophets and Divine messengers). The change from the 
plural 'We' and 'Our' expressive of Might and Majesty to the singular 'Me' and 
'My* is noticeable- It is to signify the deep and intimate personal relationship of 
Divine Grace, Mercy and Tenderness with the believers. 

II. Sdrat-ul-Baqarah 25 

1 70. i. e. , fearful event. Consciousness of an Infinite Power and of infinite 
goodness behind the finite individual is in itself sufficient to instil in man a sense of 
fearlessness and security. 

171. (on the Day of Judgment) 

172. (for ever). Cf. the OT : 'A fire goeth before him, and burnetii up his 
ener es round about/ (Ps. 97:3). And the NT : 'Depart from mcy ye cursed, 
into verlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels . . . And these shall 
go av y into everlasting punishment. ' (Mt. 25 ; 41, 46) 'So shall it be at the end 
of the vorld : the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the 
just, a d shall cast them into the furnace of fire : there shall be wailing and 
gnashing of teeth/ — (13 : 49-50) ' . . . hell-fire, where their worm dieth not, and the 
fire is not quenched/ (Mk. 9 : 48) 

26 Part I 


'-"-:» . __ . 5Jr 



40. (^^^i. . . >*^) Children of Israll 173 ! remember My favour 
wherewith I favoured you, 174 and fulfil My covenant 175 and I shall fulfil your 
covenant, 176 and dread Me a/one. 177 

41. (^ajO. • -U^Ul \) And believe in what I have sent down 178 confirm- 
ing what is with you, 179 and be not the first to disbelieve therein. 180 And barter 
not My signs for a small price, 181 and fear Me atone. 162 

42. (tffJj*. I r ^lv y J J And confound not the truth with falsehood, 183 
nor conceal the truth 184 while you know. 185 

43. ( ^aJJjM-. • V^'j) ^ nc * esta b^ s ^ prayer, 186 and give the poor-rate 187 
and bow down 188 with those who bow. 189 

44. ( <yi£*j. . .^.^W) Do y° u enjoin mankind to piety 190 and forget 
yourselves 191 while you read the Book 192 ? Do you not understand ? 

45. ( #H ^^j|. . .^Xxaa-J .) And seek help in patience and prayer, 198 and 
surely it 104 is hard save to the meek, 

46. ( ., t x^|). . . >*>oJ!) who know 195 that surely they are going to meet 
their Lord, and that surely to Him they are going to return. 196 


47. (^^.JU)i. . . Xsi) Children of Isrgjl : remember My favour with 
which I favoured you, 197 and that surely I preferred you 198 above the worlds. 199 

173. 'Children of Israel' is the national designation of the Jews. Israel was 
the name borne by their ancestor, Jacob, the father of 'the twelve tribes/ a son of 
Isaac, and a grandson of Abraham (on all of whom be peace!). This nation of 
priests^ patriarchs and prophets, perhaps the most remarkable people in ancient 
history, blessed of their Lord, always great in the realm of religion and faith, and 
mighty and glorious for long periods in the affairs of the world, had migrated in 
their thousands, after the capture of Jerusalem by the Romans under Titus, into 

II. Surat-ul-Baqarah 27 

Arabia, and had settled in and around Madina long before the advent of the holy 
Prophet. The whole of the north-eastern Arabia was dotted over by their colonies, 
and many of the Arab pagans, in the course of time, had come to adopt their ways 
and their faith. In the third century of the Christian era an Arabian tribe, even 
so remote as in the south of the Peninsula, was led to adopt the Jewish faith. As 
proud possessors of the book and the Divine Law, and even more as adepts in crude 
occult sciences and magical crafts, these Arab Jews were in early days of Islam, in 
effect intellectually the dominating masters of the country. In matters religious and 
divine they were the trusted advisers of the unlettered pagans and their acknowledged 
superiors. Jewish legends, Jewish tenets and Jewish feats of exorcism were by now 
popular knowledge throughout Arabia. The 'idolatry of Arabia/ to use the words 
of Muir, had formed a compromise with Judaism, and had imbibed many of its 
legends and perhaps many of its tenets. It was the Jews, again, who had been long 
predicting a new redeemer, and had been keenly looking for him. This helps to 
explain the extent of attention they receive in the Qur'an, and the long series of 
admonitions, warnings and exhortations addressed to them. In the domain of 
religion they were always the foremost; in Arabia, contemporaneous with Islam, 
their importance stood specially high. 

174. 'And Jacob said unto Joseph: God Almighty appeared unto me at 
Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me, and said unto me, Behold, I will make 
thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people ; and 
will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession/ (Ge. 48 : 3-4) 

175. t. e'.y your covenant, with Me ; the promise of obedience that ye made 
to Me. 'If ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be 
a peculiar treasure unto me above all people ; for all the earth is mine. And ye shall 
be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation/ (Ex. 19: 5-6) 'Thou hast 
avouched the Lord this day to be thy God, and to walk in his ways, and to keep 
his statutes, and his commandments, and judgments, and to hearken unto his voice'. 
(Dt. 26:17) i 

176. i. e., My covenant with you ; the undertaking that I gave you. 'And 
the Lord hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised 
thee, and that thou shouldst .keep all his commandments ; and to make thee high 
above all nations which He hath made, in praise, and in name* and in honour : and 
that thou may st be a holy people unto the Lord thy God, as he hath spoken/ (Dt. 
26: 18, 19) So the covenant was a bilateraFone— with reciprocal obligations and 
undertakings,— the essential thing in the people's undertaking being that they would 
always worship the one and only God, and the essential part of His undertaking 
being that they would be His peculiar people. /That Israel's character as the 
chosen people is conditioned by obedience to God's commandments is stated in 
the very words of the Sinai covenant/ ( JE. IV, p. 45) 

177. (regardless of frown or favour from fellow-creatures). Cf. the OT:— 

28 Part I 

•I will make them hear my words that they may learn to fear me all the days that 
they shall live upon the earth, and that they, may teach their children/ (Dt. 4 : 10) 
'Neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and 
let him be your fear, and let him be your dread/ (Is. 8 : 12-13) 

178. (now), i. e., the Holy Qur'an. 

179. (already), i. *., the Torah. 

180. (as the Arab idolaters would be only too prone to follow suit). 

181. Ta reject truth for monetary considerations for the inducements of this 
transitory, ephemeral world, is to barter eternal happiness and bliss at 'a small price/ 
That the Jews had even in ancient times evinced a special weakness for the allure- 
ments of the lucre; is borne out by the OT itself :— 'He is a merchant, the balances 
of deceit are in his hand: he love th to oppress/ (Ho. 12: 7) Also Am. 8:4-5. 
Again, in the NT times, Paul and Peter both bring the same charge against the 
Jews. 'There are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of 
circumcision: whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching 
things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake/ (Ti. 1: 10-11) 'And many 
follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil 
spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchan- 
dise of you/ (2 Pe. 2: 2-3) 

182. Cf. the OT : 'Oh that there were such a heart in them, that they would 
fear me/ (Dt. 5 : 29) 'And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of 
thee, but to fear the Lord thy God/ (Dt. 10 : 12) 'Serve the Lord with fear/ 
(Ps« 2 : 11) 'Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself, and let him be your fear and let 
him be your dread/ (Is. 8: 13) 

183. (by perversing the text or by handling it deceitfully). Cf 2 Co. 4 : 2. 
One such method common with Jews (as well as the Christians) was the method of 
allegory. 'The Palestinian Jews allegorised the OT . . . in order to satisfy their 
conscience for the non-observance of laws that had become impracticable, or to 
justify traditional and often trivial increment ... or, generally for homiletical 
purposes . . . the Hellenistic Jews . . . allegorised the OT to prove . . . that their 
religion had the same rational* as Greek philosophy, and that Moses had been the 
teacher, or, at all events, the, anticipator, of Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, and the 
Stoics/ (DB. I, p. 65) Compare JE. I, pp. -403-404. 

184. (by suppressing it altogether) . 

185. AH this manipulation of their Divine Texts by the Jews has been deli- 
berate and with a set purpose, not as a matter of accident. 

186. 'This would cure the mind of pride and conceit/ (Th) 'I will call 
upon God, and the Lord shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will 
I pray, and cry aloud : and he shall hear my voice/ (Ps. 55 : 16-17) 

187. 'This would cure the mind of avarice and greed/ (Th) %Jy literally, 
purity and purification, in the language of the Islamic law means: the poor-rate; 

//. Surat-ul-Baqarah ^ . 29 

the portion, or amount, of property that is given therefrom as the due of God, by 
its possessor to the poor in order that he may purify it thereby/ (LL) The payment 
of this religious tax is obligatory, provided that the property is of a certain amount 
and has been in possession for one lunar year. The tax varies according to the 
nature and amount of the property ; but generally it is one-fortieth thereof, or of its 
value; i. e., 2^- per cent. 

188. 'This would infuse and increase meekness of spirit/ (Th) 'O come, let 
us worship and bow down : Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker/ (Ps. 95 : 6) 
'The forms of divine worship in the Biblical epoch were prostration or falling on 
one's face to the ground, placing one's head between one's knees, standing during 
prayer or during a solemn proclamation . . . ' (VJE. p. 14) 

189. i. e., with the Muslims in the congregational prayers. 'This ordered 
service of divine worship is one of the most characteristic features of the religious life 
of Muslim society and its impressive character has frequently been noted by travel- 
lers and others in the East.' The late Bishop Lefroy thus commented upon it : 'No 
one who comes in contact for the first time with the Mohammadans can to be 
struck with this aspect of their faith . . .Wherever one may be, in open street, in 
railway station, in the field, it is the most ordinary thing to see a man, without the 
slightest touch of pharisaism or parade, quietly, and humbly leave whatever pursuit 
he may be at the moment engaged in, in order to say his prayer at the appointed 
hour. . . The very regularity of the daily call to prayer as it rings out at earliest 
dawn before light commences or amid all the noises and bustle of business hours or 
again as evening closes in, is fraught with the same majesty.' (Arnold, Islamic Faith, 
p. 29) 'As a disciplinary measure this congregational prayer must have had great 
value for the proud, individualistic sons of the desert. It developed in them the 
sense of social equality and^the consciousness of solidarity. It promoted that brother- 
hood of community of believers which the religion of Muhammad had theoretically 
substituted for blood relationship. The prayer ground thus became "the first drill 
ground of Islam." ' (Hitti, op ciU, p. 132) 

190. (and true religion). The Jews had borne testimony to the advent of 
the holy Prophet before some of the Arab pagans. 

191. (to practise that counsel, and to embrace Islam). This may also allude 
to the actual life of impiety led by the Jews, with all their theoretical knowledge of 
the Divine commandments. Their rabbis had gone so far as to teach, where merit 
was concerned, that a counsellor of good deed was better than its doer. 'He who 
induces others to do a good deed, stands in the sight of heaven higher than the one 
that does the deed.' (JE. I, p. 55) - 

192. (of Moses, wherein you find a clear reference to the advent of the holy 

193. (to cure you of your greed for power and greed for wealth— the two 
besetting springs of your conduct) . 

30 "- Parti 

194. t. e. 9 prayer as it is ordained in Islam. 

195. (and meditate on the fact), j& is not only 'he thought, opined, or 
conjectured* but also he knew, by considering with endeavour to. understand.' (LL) 

196. It is this living belief in a future life which makes the greatest hardship 
and sacrifice easy to the believers. 

197. Cf. the OT: 'Thou art a holy people unto the Lord thy God: the 
Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be special people unto himself, above all people 
that are upon the face of the earth/ (Dt. 7 : 6) 'Only the Lord had a .delight in 
thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all 
people as it is this day.' (Dt. 10 : 15) 'ye are my witnesses, my servants whom I 
have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he.' 
(Is. 43: 10) 

198. (as a people, as a race).. Now what did this 'preference' of the 
Israelites consist in ? Was it their commerce, their adventures, their martial glory, 
their achievements in art, or their eminence in science ? Nothing of the sort. 
Their singular glory and peculiar excellence j as a race, lay in their special mission— 
their tenacious, pure and absolute MONOTHEISM— in fact the only living mono- 
theism that the world knew before the advent of Islam. 'The Hebrews alone of all 
semific people reached the stage of pure monotheism, through the teachings of their 
prophets .* . .As long as a man refused allegiance to other gods, he was looked upon 
as a Jew : whoever denies the existence of other gods is called a Jew. The unity of 
God was a revealed truth for the Jew, there was no need of proofs to establish it; it 
was the leading tenet of the faith.' (JE. VIII. pp. 659, 661) 

199. (that you may deliver God's message, and proclaim His unity). 'Upon 
Israel specially devolved the duty of proclaiming I*od's unity . . . "The eternal is 
Israel's portion" demonstrates Israel's duty in the share to proclaim God's unity 
and imperishability over against the sun-, moon-, and star-worship of the heathen.' 
(JE. VI. p. 5) 'Judaism is above all the religion of pure monotheism, the procla- 
mation, propagation, and preservation of which have been .the life-purpose and task 
of the Jewish people.' (VII, p. 359). 

II. Surat-ul'Baqarah 31 

rj^ffjf , « r*jy 

48. ..(^jj-aJLi. . i^Sil j) And fear a Day when not in aught will a soul* 00 
satisfy for another soul 201 nor will intercession profit it, 202 nor will any compen- 
sation be accepted therefor, nor will they be helped. 203 

49. (*x_?x. , .>! 5 ) And recall when We delivered you 204 from the house 
of Fir'awn 205 imposing upon you evil chastisement, 206 slaughtering your sons, 807 
and sparing your women, 208 and in thau/vas a mighty trial 200 from your Lord. 

50. ( .^jo . .ii j.) And recall when We separated for you 210 the sea, 211 
and delivered you, 212 and drowned Fir'awns' house, 213 while you looked on, 2 * 4 

51. ( wto, . .il 5 ) And recall when We treated with Musa 2X6 forty 
nights, 216 then you betook the calf 217 after him, 218 and you were transgressors. 2 * 9 

52. ( ^jjCAJ. . -.-j)"-' Then We forgave you 220 thereafter, that haply you 
may return thanks. 221 

53. ( ^ <±xj. . .ii 5 ) And recall when We gave to Musa the Book and the 
distinction 222 that haply you may be rightly guided. 

200. (whether of an ancestor or of a descendant). 

201. This is to repudiate the Rabbinical doctrine tfrat 'grace is to be given 
to some because of the merits of their ancestors, to others because of the merits of 
their descendants.' (JE. VI. p. 61) 

202. (by any angel or prophet). 'The patriarchs in heaven were believed 
to be intercessors for the living . . .Angels were often invoked by certain (Gnostic ?) 
classes of Jews. Especially was . Michael invoked as intercessor for the Jewish 
people/ (JE. VIII. p. 408) 

203. (In any way on the Judgment-Day). The reminder was all the more 
needed as the Jews had grown completely indifferent to the Hereafter and heedless 
of their personal responsibility. 

204. The deliverance might not have come all at once, but possibly in slow 
stages as the form of verb U^saJ suggests, the final stage being the drowning of the 
Pharaoh's army. Detachments from the main body might have left Egypt from 

32 Part I 

time to/time, and settled and multiplied at Hebron, round the tombs of the patri- 
arches/ (DB. III. p. 820) 

-205. Fir'awn, or its Biblical equivalent, Pharaoh, is the Hebraised title of 
the ancient kings of $gypt, like the 'Tsar r of Russia, the 'Sultan' of Turkey, or the 
'Khedive* of modern Egypt. The Pharaoh spoken of here, the one contempora- 
neous with Moses (peace be on him !) was, till recently, believed to be Rameses II, 
in the 13th century B.C., or Merenptah, or both. 'Rameses II of the 19th 
dynasty is generally accounted as the Pharaoh of the Oppression, and his son and 
successor, Merenptah is considered to be the Pharaoh of the Exodus . . . The 
Oppression evidently lasted many years. Rameses II reigned 67 years, and thus the 
Exodus may have taken place in the short reign of Merenptah, the son and successor 
of that aged king.' (DB. III. p. 820) Also JE. IX. p. 660. Fresh archaeological 
evidence, however, identifies the Pharaoh of Oppression with Thotmas III and the 
Pharaoh of the Exodus with Amenhatap II, and postulates the date of the Exodus 
as falling between 1447 B. G. and 1417 B. G. ... The Exodus must, therefore, have 
taken place after Thotmas ..IIFs death in 1447 B. C, and during the reign of 
Amenhatap II.- (Marston, The Bible is True, p. 17 1) 

206. Cf the OT: 'Now there arose up a new king over Egypt . . . And he 
said unto his people : Behold, the people of the Children of Israel are more and 
mightier than we : Come on, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply 
Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens :'•■'. . 
And the Egyptians made the Children of Israel to serve with rigour; and they made 
their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner of " 
service in the field ; all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour/ 
(Ex. 1:8-14) 

207. 'And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives . . . And he said : 
When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the 
stools, if it be a son, then you shall kill him, but if it be a daughter, then she shall 
live . , » And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying : Every son that is born ye shall 
cast into river* and every daughter ye shall save alive/ (Ex. I. 15 : 22) 

208. 'Probably to fill in time the harems of their oppressors/ (Milman, 
History of the Jews, I. p. 77) - 

209* (for yoii). 'This was a severe affliction indeed/ (Ant. II. 9:2). 

210. Or on account of you. 'Whatever may have been the exact cause of 
this event . . . its historical certainty its weR established/ (Ewald, History of Israel, 
p. 498) 'There are . . . the strongest grounds for regarding the narrative as historical 
in outline, though details cannot always be trusted/ (EBr. VIII. p. 972) 

211. Cleavage of water, though in this instance an act of direct Divine 
intervention* is not after all so singular a breach of 'the laws of nature' as it may at 
first sight appear. Action of earthquake on the sea can be easily productive of a like 
result. A similar phenomenon, though of course on a much smaller scale, was 

//. Sufat-ul-Baqarah 33 

observed in India as recently as on the 15th January, 1934 when in the city of 
Patna, in broad daylight, at a few minutes past 2 p. m., the sudden disappearance 
and equally sudden re-emergence of the great river Ganges was witnessed by many, 
and the occurrence was well reported in the daily press of India. A respectable 
eye-witness's account is here reproduced :— ' . . . Suddenly, the sound changed from 
a dull roar and became more shrill ; from the river there came a hissing noise and 
the waters of the Ganges subsided as if by magic into the sand. This happened in 
a few seconds, and the bed of the river was left dry where a minute before the stream 
had been swiftly flowing. The effect of this was most terrifying. It seemed to one 
that the end of the. world had come and many people attempted to get up from 
where they lay, only to be thrown down again ... The scene on the river was 
frightful. Opposite where I stood, there had been an island of sand fn the middle 
of the stream, with a narrow passage of water on the near side and a broader stream, 
on which steamers and boats plied, on the far side. The island had become joined to 
the mainland. On what had been the broad passage-, several boats and river 
steamers were stranded. The occupants rocked to and fro as the sand beneath them 
vibrated. On what had been the narrow passage a number of bathers were left half- 
sucked into the sand by the force of the receding water. They struggled to get free 
and escape. For the space of several minutes (I estimate that the shock lasted for 
five minutes), the river-bed remained dry. Then as suddenly as it had vanished, 
before my eyes the Ganges appeared again, but this time it spouted up from the 
sand with considerable force. Great cracks and fissures, some as long as fifty feet 
and several feet wide, appeared at irregular distances and from them columns of 
water shot up to the height of a man with loud bursting noise ... In a few seconds, 
the level of the river had risen again and it spread from bank to bank. The Ganges 
had resumed its interrupted flow and its waters swept on as if nothing had ever 
happened. Every boat was capsized and it was only by a miracle that no lives were 
lost in my presence/ {The Pioneer, Lucknow, 20th January, 1934) 

212. This refers to the final act of deliverance which was by now complete. 
'And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea ; arid the Lord caused the sea to go 
back by a strong east wind all that, night and made the sea dry land, and the waters 
were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon a dry 
ground.. ..The Children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea... . 
Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians.' (Ex.14: 21-30) 

213. 'And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the 
sea, even all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen ... And Moses 
stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its strength when the 
morning appeared, and the Egyptians fled against it ; and the Lord overthrew the 
Egyptians in the midst of the sea. And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, 
and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into sea after them ; there 
remained not so much as one of them.' (Ex. 14 : 23-28) The following 'rationalistic' 

34 Part I 


account of the whole episode by a Christian authority is interesting: 'Both the 
routes which lead across the narrow isthmus between the marshes qf the eastern branch 
of the Nile and the northern extremity of the Red Sea into the wilderness were 
blocked by walls and defensive works. Accordingly, when the Israelites had reached 
the vicinity of Pithon— at that time' the present gulf of Suez stretched so far inland— 
an Egyptian army suddenly presented itself in their rear. Escape seemed impossible : 
the wall and the water cut them off. The men despaired of deliverance. Mosses 
alone did not flinch. He led Israel right up to the shore of the Gulf, the waters of 
which were being driven back by a strong east wind. Taking this natural phenome- 
non, perhaps already familiar to him, as a favourable token from Yahwa, he caused 
the forward march to be continued during the night over the sea-bed that had been 
left "dry, and the eastern shore was safely reached. The pursuing Egyptians. were 
embarrassed by their war chariots, and in the morning the waters began to return to 
their natural state and cut the enemy off/ (EBi. c. 2220) ■■• 

214. 'And Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the seashore/ (Ex. 14:30) 

215. Moses of the Bible, one of the greatest prophets recognised by Islam. 
According, to Sir Charles Marston's calculations, born in or about 1520 B. C. and 
died in or about 1400 B. C. Age, according to the Bible, 120 years. (Dt. 34 : 7) 

216. 'And Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights/ (Ex, 24: 
18). 'And he was then with the Lord forty days and forty nights/ (34 : 28) 

217. (for worship). The Israelites in their impatience during the temporary 
absence of Moses (peace be on him !) had taken to the image-worship of a golden 
calf. The Bible narrates the story of calf- worship by the Israelites in great detail 
(Ex. 32 : 1-8) The Qur'an is in substantial agreement with it, except in one very 
important particular, where the Bible makes the prophet Aaron— him of all the 
people !— responsible for this act of outrageous impiety. 

218. i. e. y after he had departed to the mount to receive the Torah. 

219. 'We may conjecture that the bull-cult itself was a native Canaanite 
form of Baal religion, adopted by Israel with the change of the name of the deity 
revered/ (E. Br. IV. p. 503). Or the calf may have been an emblem of the 
moon-good, which, in the Assyrian inscription, is styled "the youthful and mighty 
bull" and the Lord of the heavenly hosts . . . The ancient Hebrews, being nomads, 
like the Arabs, favoured the moon/ ( JE. XI. p. 528). 

220. (on your showing contrition for this act of gross idolatry, remitted the 
punishment you merited). 

221. (and become obedient). 

222. Or, 'the criterion/ ^^j is originally 'anything that makes a separa- 
tion, or distinction, between truth and falsity/ It also means 'proof, evidence, or 
demonstration/ (LL) So here it may refer either to the oral teaching of the prophet 
Moses, which separated the right from the wrong, or to the 'signs' and 'wonders' 
vouchsafed to him. 

II. Surat-ul-Baqarah 35 

fjJLH . , . • _^__^ ij&jf 

54. (f^Jt. . .it 5 ) And recall when Musa said to his people: my 
people ! surely you have wronged yourselves by your taking the calf for worship ; 
so now turn to your Maker 223 and slay one another. 214 That will be right for you 
with your Maker. 226 Then He relented towards you. Surely it is He who is 
Relenting, Merciful. 

55. (^yiaXj. . .i| 5 ) And recall when you 226 said : Musa! we will not 
believe in you 227 till we see God openly. Thereupon a thunderbolt took hold of 
you, 228 while you looked on. 

56. (^c&>. .'.,$) Then We raised you after your death, 220 that haply 
you 230 may return thanks. 

57. ."(^jJllbj. • .UUfc 5 ) And We overshadowed you with cloud, 281 and 
We sent down upon you manna 232 and quails : 233 eat of the good things where- 
with We have provided you. 234 And they wronged not Us, but themselves they 
were wont to wrong. 236 

58 - (^JUoaJl. . .lSI^) And recall when We said 236 enter thish township 237 
and eat plentifully of it as you will, 238 and enter the gate 239 prostrating, 240 and say : 
forgiveness; 241 We shall forgive you your transgressions, and We shall give 
increase to the vyell-doers. 242 

59, ( jjuaj. . .Ja*J) Then the evii-doers changed the word 248 that had 
been told them for another 844 so We sent down upon thet evil-doers a scourge 
from heaven, 245 for they were wont to transgress. 246 

223, (Whom you have so wantonly offended by your act of gross idolatry). 
.)lj applied to God, means 'The Creator; He who hath created the things that 

are created, hot after any similitude or model . . . or the Framer, or Fashioner;' (LL) 

224. i. e., let the innocent slay the guilty among you. c And slay every man 
his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. And the 
children of Levi did according to the word of Moses ; and there fell of the people that 
day about three thousand men/ (Ex. 32 : 27-28). This is recorded as' a fact of 

36 p a n I 

history! There is no question here of. 'mortification of souls/ or of c a metaphorical 
use of the verb ^JsS . There are certain crimes like murder, rape, etc., in every 
code of law known to the world, which: cannot go unpunished, howsoever deep and 
genuine/the penitence of the guilty. Image worship in the Mosaic law must have 
been classed among such grievous sins. In fact we read : 'If there be found among 
you . . . manor woman . . .that hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped 
them, . . . then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, ... and shalt stone 
them with stones till they die/ (Dt. 17 : 2-5). 

225. i. e. } in the sight of your Lord. 

226. i. e. 9 seventy of your elders, whom Moses had taken with him to the 
Mt ? Sinai; 

227. _ *. e. y in thy assertion that the voice calling on thee is really God's, 

228. (for this impertinent demand). 

229. The seventy persons spoken of above were struck dead by lightning, and 
on Moses's intercession restored to life. 

230. (as a community). 

231. (when you were wandering in the wilderness). 'And the Lord went 
before them by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them the way : and by night in a 
pillar of fire, to give them light: to go by day and night' (Ex. 13 : 22) 'The 
Israelites were surrounded with clouds for protection.' And "the Haggadah . . . 
mentions not one, but seven 'clouds of glory' as having accompanied Israel on its 
march through the desert . . . Those 'clouds of glory' prevented the garments of the. 
Israelites from becoming soiled or worn during the forty years in the wilderness . . . 
Those clouds receded from the Israelites when they had committed sins . . . and thus 
failed to protect them." (JE. IV. p. 123) • 

232. A kind of dew; a sweetish liquid. 'It is a desperate rebellion against 
evidence to try to identify the miraculous Manna of the Exodus with the natural 
exudates. The daily consumption of Manna as computed by Macalister, was more 
than 300 tons ; as he rightly declares, "All the Tmarisks in the desert could not 
have yielded this daily provision." This natural exudate is only found during two 
months of autumn.' (CD. p. 590) 

233. 'And it came to pass, that at even quails came up, and covered the 
camp; and in the morning the dew lay round about the host.' (Ex. 16; 13) The 
quail is 'well known in the Sinaitic Peninsula, where it passes, migrating northward 
in spring, in immense flights . . . Even these flocks are said to be surpassed in numbers 
by the autumn flight when they return south to their winter quarters. The quail 
flies very low . . . ; it is soon fatigued, and hence falls an easy prey to man. 160,000 
have been captured in a season at Capai.' (EBi. c. 3989) 'Quails pass over the 
Sinaitic Peninsula in vast numbers migrating northward in spring and returning 
southward in the autumn.' ( JE. X. p. 285) 'A sea-wind would bring them in 
immense numbers into the camp which the Israelites occupied at that time. The 

//. Surat-ul-Baqarah 37 

miracle consisted in their being directed to the right time and place/ (DB. IV. 
p. 179) 

234. (for food in the desert, but do not store them up). 'And Moses said, 
let no man leave of it till the morning/ (Ex. 16:19) 

235. (by storing up their daily supply of food against the express command 
of God). 'Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left 
of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank ; and Moses was wroth with 
them/ (Ex. 16:20) 

236. The reference now is to the Hebrew history of a later period. 

237. This may refer either to the town of Jericho (Eriha) in Palestine 
which the Hebrews captured arid occupied many years later under the command of 
Joshua; or to the town of Shittim, — one of the limits of the camping ground of 
Israel in the plains of Moab. 

238/ This suggests that it must have been a city of plenty. 

239. i. e., the outer gate of the city. 

240. Or, /doing obeisance/ Anyway, the command was to maintain 
meekness and humility in the hour of triumph. 

241. —to suit you words to your posture, ly^ literally means 'A petition 
' for the putting down of a heavy burden from one ; or of the heavy burden of sin . . . 

They were told to say aa^ for the purpose of askmg thereby for the putting down 
of their heavy burdens from them, that they should be put down from them/ (LL) 

242. (favours and rewards) . The Bible omits to mention all these significant 
and important moral aspects of the narrative. 

243. (of humility and devotion). 

244. (of ridicule and insolence). 

245. f. *., a plague, if the reference is to the town of Shittim. 'And diose 
that died in the plague were twenty and four thousands/ (Nu. 25 : 9) 

246. (and continued to be ungodly and defiant). The Divine punishment 
visits only the confirmed criminals and persistent law-breakers. 

38 Part I 


60. ( ^w^ . .'.£1 .) And recall when Musa prayed for drink for his 
people. 247 . So We said : smite 248 with thy staff the rock. 249 Then there gushed 
forth out of it 260 twelve springs ; 251 every people 262 already knew their drinking- 
place ; eat and drink of the provision of Allah, and make not mischief on the earth 
as corrupters. 

61. (^yjje*^ • •'•(rfiS «iV«) And recall when you said : Musa, we will 
not bear patiently with one sort o/food, 253 so supplicate your Lord for us that He 
bring forth for us of what the earth grows 254 — —of its vegetables, and its cucum- 
bers, its wheat, 265 its lentils and its onions. 256 Musa 257 said : would you take 
in exchange what is meaner for what is better ? Get ye down into a city, 258 as 
there is surely in it what you ask for. 259 And stuck upon them 260 were abase- 
ment 261 and poverty. 262 And they drew on themselves 2 ** wrath from Allah. 284 
This, 265 because they were ever disbelieving 266 in the signs of Allah 267 and slay<- 
ing 268 the prophets 269 unjustly. 270 This, because they disobeyed 271 and were ever 
transgressing. 272 • 

247. (who had become impatient with thirst in the desert). At Rephidim, 
And there was no water for the people to drink. Wherefore the people did chide 

with Moses, and said : Give us water that we may drink . . . And Moses cried unto 
the Lord/ (Ex. 17:1-4) According to another account, also Biblical, the place 
where this occurred was not Rephidim but Kadesh. 'And the people, abode in 
Kadesh . . .And there was no water for the congregation . . . And the people chode 
with Moses, and spake/ (Nu. 20 : 1-3) 

248. The only correct rendering of ^j is 'smite - ' or 'strike/ The root 
verb l-jw£ never signifies 'to seek a way' or 'to go forth/ unless followed by a very 
distinct preposition j as misinterpreted by an English translator of the holy 

249/ t*3£ £s always a 'staff' or a 'rod/ and not a 'community' unless used 
metaphorically, as misinterpreted by the translator referred to in the last note. Cf. 

//. Surat-ul-Baqarah 39 

the Bible \ 'Behold : I will stand before thee there on the rock, in Horeb, and thou 
shalt smite the rock, and then shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. 
And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel/ (Ex. 17:6) 'And Moses 
lifted up his hand, and with his rod, he smote the rock twice : and the water came 
out abundantly, and the congregation drank/ (Nu. 20: 11) This wonderful rock, 
real, not 'fictitious/ exists even to this day. It stands 'from 10 to 15 ft. high, in the 
wide valley of the Leja, under the Ras of Sufsafeh, slightly leaning forwards. . . 
intersected by wide slits or cracks, which might, by omitting or including those of 
less distinctness, be enlarged or diminished to any number between ten and twenty. . . 
Its first unquestionable appearance is in the reference made more than once in the 
Koran to the rock with the twelve mouths for the twelve tribes of Israel, evidently 
alluding to the various cracks in the stone, as now seen/ (Stanley, Sinai and 
Palestine, pp. 36-37) 

250. The gushing forth of a stream or a rivulet from a rock, though in this 
instance ah act of direct Divine intervention, is not a phenomenon very much 
removed from everyday experience. 

251. (according to the number of the tribes of Israel). 'One who went into 
those parts in the end of the fifteenth century tells us expressly, that the water issued 
from twelve places of the rock. (Sale) And 'a later curious traveller observes that 
there are twenty- four holes in the stone, which may be easily counted, that is to say, 
twelve on the flat side, and as many on the opposite round side/ (Sale) 

252. i. e., each of the twelve tribes. 

253. i."e. 9 the Manna and the quails, which they used to get daily without 
any great exertion on their part. 

254. 'Vegetable food, and chiefly grain, occupied the first place in the diet 
of the Israelites/ ( JE V. p. 430) 'The ancient Israelites lived on vegetable food 
and fruit/ (p. 596) 

255. Or, 'garlic/ the word . .j meaning both. 

256. 'And the Children of Israel also wept again, and said : Who shall give 
us flesh to eat? We remember the fish which we did eat in Egypt freely, 
and the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and 
the garlic. But now our soul is dried away : there is nothing at all, beside this 
Manna, before our eyes/ (Nu. 11 : 4-6) 

257. The pronoun may refer either to Moses or to God ; preferably it refers 
to the former. 

258. This was said when the Israelites refused to recede from their demand* 
The use of the word {jk*a>t 'get down' or 'descend' in connection with entry into a 
city may hint at the smaU\ esteem in which the artificial 'civilised' city-life is held in 
Islam. ]y^ withvwjjjj is unquestionably a common noun and means 'a city.' And 
it is amazing to find Sale, Rodwell, Palmer and even Bell, all treating it as a proper 
noun and translating it by 'Egypt' or 'the country of Egypt/ 

40 ^ Part I 

259. It is in cities alone— the usual centres of luxury and opulence— that 
fresh fruits and green vegetables can be had at any time of the year. The desert of 
Sinai was not at all synonymous with -a sandy waste absolutely without population 
and pasturage. 'In certain districts there might be towns and cities occupied by 
nomads/ (DBi IV. p. 917) It is quite a mistake to picture to oneself the Siriaitic 
peninsula as having then been under the same conditions as prevail to-day. We 
already know enough to justify us in affirming that these parts in ancient times were 
not wholly given up to nomads, and that the country possessed ordered institutions 
and seats of advanced civilisation/ (EBi. c. 4633) 

260. (like marks or dies, as their permanent national characteristics). 
)f&sJl JU .wJaJl^wi i s <ne stuck or applied the mud upon the wall as a plaster/ 
(LL) Note that the pronoun 'them' refers to the face of Israel rather than to the 
Jews as a religious boc'y. Even in the present-day anti-Semi trie agitation, 'the 
Jews are not opposed on account of their religion, .but on account of their racial 
characteristics. As such are mentioned : greed, a special aptitude for money-making, 
aversion to hard work, clannishness and obstrusiveness, lack of social tact, and 
especially of patriotism. Finally, the term is used to justify resentment for every 
crime or objectionable act committed by any individual Jew/ (J. E. I. p. 641) 

261. Which feature has clung to Israel to this very day. Horrors of Jewish 
history, whether of remote past or of recent present, are well known, lamented by 
friends and gloated over by foes, but recognised and admitted by all. In the words 
of a Christian historian, 'for ages the Hebrew history has been the same everywhere 
substantially— a constant moan, as it were, with variations indeed, but seldom a note 
in which we miss the quality of agony/ And a leading Jew of to-day is said to 
have exclaimed : — 'if there are gradations in suffering, Israel has reached its highest 
acme/ Certainly, there is no history so full of mournful pathos as theirs. And it is 
instructive, if also pathetic, to note that in the years 1938-39 with all the wealth and 
commerce and 'influence ' at their command, there are incessant references in their 
press to their 'frightful persecution' and 'the beatings, the murders, the torture, the 
robbing, the blackmailing, the arrests and imprisonments' and 'humiliations, both 
public and private* that are being perpetrated on them in several parts of 'civilized' 
Europe? Nor is this persecution religious ; it is pre-eminently racial and no escape is 
possible even after the change of faith. For we are distinctly told :— "Neither 
baptised Jews nor even Christian children or grand-children of baptised Jews are 
immune from the raging scourge/' (Cohen, Jews in Germany, p. 2) And in another 
pamphlet of the same name, but by a different author, reprinted from the Manchester 
Guardian, dated January 23, 1934, we read: 'Many Jews in Germany abandoned 
their Jewish traditions, faith and usages, and became entirely "German," but as 
the official test of Judaism now is not religious but racial, and as even those who 
have a Jewish grand-parent are considered Jews, they do not escape persecution by 
having been baptised or having become "German" in outlook. Those Jews who 

Jl. SUrat-ul-Baqarah 41 

tried to "Germanise" themselves (some even demonstratively repudiating their 
Judaism) are hit terribly hard, and many have committed suicide/ 

262. Witness their modern condition: 'Jews in the general mass are poorer 
than their fellow citizens, though a few exceptional persons have acquired great 
wealth. Taken as a whole, Jews are poorer than any European people/ (JE. I. 
p. 621) 'Although the riches of the Jew have passed into a proverb, all social 
observers are agreed that the Jews have a larger proportion of poor than any of the 
European nations among whom they dwell/ (X. p. 151) 

263. 'The primary significance of gf^ is said to be h or adhesion ; and in 
this sense ^^^ j is synonymous with ^-xj J/ (LL) 

264. In the words of a modern writer sympathetic to the Jews : 'The history 
of Jewry is the history of human struggles. For more than two thousand years the 
Jewish people have incessantly struggled for social justice and self-preservation*. 

265. i.e., all this untold misery and incalculable suffering. ^Statistics, 
wherever obtainable, show that the proportion of blindness is greater among- modern 
Jews than among their non-Jewish neighbours . . . Trachomd, glaucoma, and various 
diseases of the cornea, and of the uveal tract are found among the Jews in a greater 
proportion than among non-Jews/ (JE. III. pp. 249, 250) 'As with blindness, 
Jews . . . have shown a marked tendency toward deaf-mutism — in the general propor- 
tion, as compared with non-Jews, of two to one/ (IV. p. 480) 'Among the Jews 
the proportion of insane has been observed to be very large. From statistics 
collected by Kushan, he concludes that they are four to six times more liable to 
mental disease than are non-Jews/ (VI. p. 603) 'The Jews are more subject* to 
diseases of the nervous system than the other races and peoples among which they 
dwell. Hysteria and neurasthenia appear to be most frequent. Some physicians of 
large experience among Jews have even gone so far as to state that most of them 
are neurasthenic and hysterical. Tobler claims that all the Jewish women in 
Palestine are hysterical ; and Raymond says that in Warsaw (Poland) hysteria 
is very frequently met with among both Jewish men and Jewish women. 
The Jewish population of that city alone is almost exclusively inexhaustible 
source for the supply of hysterical males for the clinics of the whole continent/ 
(IX. p. 225) 

266. The words in the Qur^an # ..*&Xj jj(f can only be rendered 'were ever 
disbelieving' or 'were wont to disbelieve/ and not mere 'disbelieved* or 'disobeyed* 
which suggests a single act of disobedience or sin. The Qur'an emphasises the point 
that the Israelites were visited by these penalties after they had become confirmed 
law-breakers, and had been unrepentant in their attitude of denial and defiance. 
They were a consecrated race undoubtedly, but then their* 'election' rested on some- 
thing more substantial and stable than mere high lineage,— it rested on their faithful 
observance of Divine Law. 

267. The Bible abounds in doleful narratives of their rebellion and revolt. 

42 Pat I 

To give only a few such extracts out of many :-r- . 

'Remember and forget not, how thou provokedst the Lord thy God to wrath 
in the wilderness; from the day thou didst depart out of the land of Egypt, until ye 
came unto this place, ye have been rebellious against the Lord. Also in Horeb ye 
provoked the Lord to wrath, so that the Lord was angry with you to have destroyed 
you. When I was gone up in the Mount to receive the tablets of stone . . . the Lord 
said unto me: . ...thy.' people which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt have 
corrupted themselves; they are quickly turned aside out of the way which I 
qominanded them ; they have made them a molten image. Furthermore the Lord 
spake unto me, saying, I have seen this people, arid behold, it is a stiff-necked 
pepple. Let me alone, that I inay destroy them and blot out their name from under 
heaven/ (Dt. 9 : 7-13) 'Ye rebelled against the commandment of the Lord, your 
God* and ye believed him not, nor hearkened to his voice. Ye have been rebellious 
against the Lord from the day that I knew you/ (23-24) /I know thy rebellion, and 
thy stiff-neck; behold, while lam yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious 
against the Lord ; and how much more after my death ? .... I know that after my 
death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have 
commanded you ; and evil will befall you in the latter days ; because ye will do evil in 
the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands/ 

268. (as also attempting to slay). 

269. (of their own race such as Isaiah, Zachariah and John the Baptist). 
'They mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his 
prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no 
remedy/ (2 Ch. 36 : 16)/ Wherefore, will ye plead with me ? Ye have all transgressed 
against me, saith the Lord . . . Your own sword hath devoured your prophets, like a 
destroying lion/ ( Je. 2 : 29-30) 'They were disobedient and rebelled against thee, and 
cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets/ (Ne. 9 : 26) ..-':.. Ye are the 
children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your 
fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of 
hell '.? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes ; and 
some of them ye shall kill and crucify ; and some of them shall ye. scourge in your 
synagogues and persecute them from city to city : that upon you may come all the 
righteous blood shed upon the earth, from "the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood 
of Zachariah, son of Barechiah, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. 
(Mt. 23 : 31-36) 'Q Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest 
them which are sent unto thee/ (Mt. 23 : 37 ; Lk. 13 : 34) 

270. t. *. ? , wrongful and unjust not only in the sight of God, as the murder 
of a prophet in any instance is bound to be, but wrongful, unjust and illegal, even 
according to Israel's own code of law and justice. To take the instance of Jesus : 
He 'was not condemned, but he was slain. His martyrdom was no miscarriage of 

II. Surat-ul-Baqarah 43 

justice, it was a murder/ (Rosadi, Trial of Jesus , p. 301) 'In this trial was a 
violence done to the forms and rules of Hebrew as well as to the principles of 
justice/ (Innes, Trial of Jesus Christ, p. 35) 'Such a process had neither the 
form nor the fairness of a judicial trial/ (p. 59) 

271. For the uniformly rebellious attitude of Israel towards their greatest 
leader and benefactor, Prophet Moses, compare and consult their national historian 
Josephus : 'They were very angry at their conductor Moses and were zealous in 
their attempt to stone him as the direct occasion of their present miseries/ ("Ant/' 

III. 1:3) ' . . . the multitude were irritated and bitterly set against him/ {1 : 4) 
'They again turned their anger against Moses, but he at first avoided the fury of 
the multitude . . . / (1 : 7) 'The multitude began again to be mutinous and to 
blame Moses for the misfortunes they had suffered in their travels/ (13 : 1) 'The 
multitude therefore became still more unruly and more mutinous against Moses 
than before/ And Moses 'was basely abused by them/ (13: 1) 'They again 
blamed Moses and made a clamour against him and his brother Aaron • . . 
They passed that night very ill and with contumacious language against them : 
but in the morning they ran to a congregation intending to stone Moses and Aaron, 
and so to return to Egypt/ (14 : 3) '... notwithstanding the indignities they had offered 
to their Legislator and his laws and their disobedience to the commandments which 
He had sent them by Moses/ (IV. 2: 1) 'When forty years were completed, 
Moses gathered the congregation together near Jordan . . . and all the people being 
come together, he spoke thus to them; . . . "you know that I have been oftener in 
danger of death from you than from our enemies/' (8:1-2) 

272. (the bounds of the law). The habitual corruption, crookedness and 
insolence of Israel is again emphasised by the form of the word . aj^j]^. Witness 
their own admissions. 'Frequently, too, the Israelites confounded the worship of 
YHWH with the worship of Baal/ (JE. VIII. p. 659) 'The cults of other deities 
were deeply rooted in the heart of Israelitish people and they do not appear to have 
been thoroughly suppressed until after the return from the Babylonian exile/ 
(XII. p. 568) 'Through mysticism and magic many polytheistic ideas and customs 
again found their way among the people/ (p. 569) 

44 Part ' 

— — «b— — — — — — — ■ . . ' i . . - ' ' - ■ 


62^ ( ;^ e . /.^Ji i) Surely those who believe 278 andJthose who 
are Judaised 274 and Christians 27 ^ and the Sabaeans, 276 whoso believes 277 in Allah 
and the Last Day and works righteously 278 - — their 279 wage is with their Lord; 280 
aftd no fear 281 shall come on them nor shall they grieve. 282 

63. ( .ax;. . .SI \) And recall when We took your bond 288 and raised 
oyer you the Tur 284 saying : hold fast to what We have given you, 285 and remem- 
ber what is therein, haply 288 you may become God-fearing. 
'■'." 64. 'T'^^Jl. . .j) Then you turned away thereafter, 287 so had not the 
grace of Allah and His mercy 288 been upon you, you had been of the losers. 

'651 ( ^L,lL. . .*aO And assuredly you kno\A/ of those of you 289 who 
trespassed 290 in the matter of the Sabbath, 291 and We said to them : be you apes 
despised. 292 

e6 - (^*^- • • WU*=»i) And We made lt a deterrent to those of their 
day and those after them 293 and an admonition to the God-fearing. 

67. ( c| g , T M. . .ir.) And recall when MusH said to his people. 294 
Allah commands you that you slaughter a cow. 995 They said : 296 make you jest of 
us ? Musa said : I take refuge with Allah that I should be of the pagans. 297 

273. (in thee, O Mohammad!), i. e., the Muslims. 

274. The correct rendering of | &[# ^jjjl can only be 'those who are 
Judaised, or those who have become Jews/ 'It is for the first time that the Qur'an 
speaks of the 'Jews' as distinct from the 'children of Israel/ The two terms, though 
frequently used as synonymous, are not exactly coextensive or interchangeable. 
Israelites are a race, a nation, a people, a huge family, the sons of a particular 
progenitor, conscious and proud of their high lineage. Jews are also a religious 
community, a church believers in particular tenets, members of a certain faith. 
The Holy Qur^an, regardful of the niceties of expression, has always observed 
this distinction. When speaking of the religious beliefs and practices of the 

//'. Surat-ul-Baqarah 45 

Hebrews and those .who had adopted their faith, it uses the term 'Jews*' when 
alluding to their history and their national traits it keeps mentioning c the children 
of Israel/ The Israelites ceased to exist as a nation with destruction of the temple 
in A. D. 70 and thenceforth they became a purely religious community. Many of 
the Arabs had, by the advent of Islam, adopted the Jewish faith and usages. 
Hence the significance of the Quranic expression 'those who are Judaised/ 'The 
children of Israel/ so frequently addressed in the Qur J an„ says D. S. Margoliouth, 
'were merely Arab tribes made Israelite by conversion/ (Torrey, Jewish Foundation 
of Islam, p. 23) Most of the Arab Jews, like the Jews of Abyssinia, seem not to 
have been genuine children of Israel, but native converts to Judaism/ (HHW. 
VIII. p. 10) 'Judging by their proper nouns* and the Aramaean vocabulary used in 
their agricultural life, these Jews must have been mostly Judaised clans of Arabian 
and Aramaean stock though the nucleus may have been Israelites who fled from 
Palestine at the time of its conquest by the Romans, in the first century after 
Christ/ (Hitti, op. cit., p. 104) 

275. ^^jj is, in its proper sense, /Nazarenes,^ not Christians. A Jtwaj 
is *a Nazarene' in its original meaning and a Christian only /in its secondary 
application/ (LL) 'Nazarene/ is derived from 'Nazareth/ the place where Jesus 
passed his youth. The Nazarenes or the primitive Christians were the followers of 
the original pre-Pauline church, not quite like the present-day Christian of the 
Pauline variety. Nor is the title 'in itself disparaging/ (EBi. c. 3356) Rather, 'it 
was a primitive designation for Christians/ (ERE. III. p. 374) 

276. Sdbl is literally 'one who goes forth from one religion to another/ (LL) 
"The Sabians who are first mentioned in the Koran were a semi-Christian sect of 
Babylonia, the Eikasaites, closely resembling the Mandaeans or so-called 'Christians 
of St. John the Baptist/ but not identical with them/' (EBr. XIX, p. 790) 
According to another definition, they -were a sect in ancient Persia and Chaldea, 
who believed in the unity of God but also worshipped intelligences supposed to 
reside in the heavenly bodies. /The genuine Sabians of Arabic writers were a 
Judaeo-Christian sect who also called themselves Masoraie d'Yahya', the Nasoreans 
(i.e., the observants of St. John), and therefore became erroneously known to the 
modern world as the Christians of St. John (the Baptist). (Hitti, op. cit. y p. 357). 
They 'practised the rite of baptism after birth, before marriage and on various 
other occasions. They inhabited the lower plains of Babylonia, and as sect they go 
back to the first century after Christ . ..Mentioned thrice in the Koran, these 
Babylonian Sabians acquired a dhimma status and were .classified by Moslems as a 
'protected^ sect . . .The community still survives to the number of five thousand in 
the swampy lands near al-Basrah. Living in the neighbourhood of rivers is necessi^ 
tated by the fact that immersion in flowing water is an essential, and certainly -the 
most characteristic feature of their religious practice/ (ib) 

277. i. e., comes to believe, irrespective of his past. 

4$ Part I 

278* L *., in a way sanctioned by the code of Islam. . 

279* Abrupt transition from Angular number to plural is frequent in Arabic. 

280. Right belief and right conduct are the only sine qua non of salvation 
which every individual has thus in his own hands. Howsoever grave his misbelief 
or misconduct in the past, he is not past redemption. If he only accepts God's 
truth, and obeys His laws, however late in life, blessings both of this world and the 
Next are his. Not even the Jews with their centuries-old record of crime and 
corruption* depravity and rebellion, are debarred from Allah's All-embracing grace 
and mercy : provided they mend their ways. (Th) Salvation is not confined to any 
particular race or nationality. 

281. L e.> no fearful event. 

282. (on the Judgment-Day). 

283. (that you would live by the Law, O Children of Israel !). 'The con- 
ception of religion as a covenant concluded by God with man is peculiarly Jewish/ 
(JE. IV. p. 319) 

284. 'And* it came to pass — that there were thunders and lightning, and a 
thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud ; so that 
all the people that was in the camp trembled . . . and they stood at the nether part 
of the mount And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke . . . and the whole 
mount quaked greatly/ (Ex. 19: 16-18) That the mount was actually inverted 
over the Israelites is what is expressly narrated in the Talmud. 'The holy One, 
blessed be He, inverted mount Sinai over them like a huge vessel and declared, 'If 
yot» accept the Torah, well and good ; if not, here shall be your sepulchre/ (ET. 
p. 66) c God suspended the mount over them as a bat, and said to them, "if you 
accept the Torah, it is all right ; if not, you will find here your tomb/' (JE. IV. 321) 

y is applied to 'mount Sinai and to the mount of Olives, and to several other 
mountains/ (LL) Here it denotes mount Sinai. There are several summits at 
present in the group of mountains known as Sinai. 

285. i.*., the Torah. 

286. UJf Hn its original and general application, expresses hope ; but in 
the word of God it often expresses certainty/ (LL) 

287. (from Our law and commands). 'How oft did they provoke him in 
the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert ! Yea ! they turned back and tempted 
God, and tempted the Holy One of Israel.' (Ps. 78 : 40-41) 

288. All such verses of the Qur'an are indicative of God's extreme solicitude 
for mankind in general and for the children of Israel in particular. 

289. i e. y of their fate. The address is to the Jews of the holy Prophet's 

290. (the bounds of the Law). 

291. The Sabbath is the seventh day of the week (Saturday), which in the 
Jewish law was to be devoted exclusively to religious observances, and a cessation of 

//. Surat-ul-Baqarah 47 

almost all the principal activities of life, such as field-labour, business, cooking, 
hunting, was imperative ; and the penalty of profaning the sacred day was death. 
'Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore ; for it is holy unto you; Everyone that defileth 
it shall surely be put to death : for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall, 
be cut off from among his people ... Whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, 
shall surely be put to death/ (Ex. 31 : 14-15) 'The Sabbath is a sign between 
YHWH and Israel, an everlasting covenant. Death or excision was the penalty of 
its profanation by work/ (JE. X. p. 587) 

292. (and driven away). There are several points to note. In the first 
place, the Qur'an does not say whether the sentence was actually carried out, or 
ultimately rescinded on the transgressors' repentance, some commentators adopting 
the latter suggestion. Secondly, the transformation may have taken place only in 
manners and morals as held by some early commentators, and not physically. 
Thirdly, the Qur'an only argues from the Jews' knowledge of, and their credence 
in, such an event, *£*JU ±&i ( <Ye know it: perfectly well') and itself says nothing 
about its occurrence or otherwise. The usual Quranic way of rehearsing the facts of 
Jewish history is different ; it begins with i! ('and recall when—'). The commonly 
accepted view of the commentators is that the transformation took place at Eylah or 
Ailah, in the time of David (on him be peace !) and owing to his curse on the 
persistent Sabbath-breakers, and that the offenders were changed into apes, who 
died, all of them, after three days. Eylah, or Elath, of the Bible, was a flourishing 
harbour on the north-east arm of th^ Red Sea and is the modern town of 'Aqabah. 
There is a similar tradition of a tribe becoming baboon in certain primitive commu- 
nities like the Zulus. (PC. . I. p, 376) The scornful epithet ^jUU* strikes at the 
root of monkey-adoration and Hariuman-worship of several polytheistic peoples. 
JL,UL 1S usually applied to 'a dog, and to a swine, and to a devil,' and means 
'driven away, repelled, and not supposed to come near to men. And hence, 
contemptible, despicable, vile, or abject.' (LL) 

293. i. e. y to their contemporaries and their posterity. J&J is 'punishment 
serving to give warning to others than the sufferer; or that restrains the offender 
from repeating the offence/ (LL) Cf. the OT : c Then I contended with the nobles 
of Judah, and said unto them, what evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the 
Sabbath day ? Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil 
upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning 
the Sabbath/ (Ne. 13: 17-18) 

294. (who were by now deeply tainted with the Canaanite superstition of 

295. Or, a bull/ The word %^ is a generic name denoting any kind of 
bovine cattle. Commonly used for the cow, it may also denote a bull or an ox. 

296. (in utter incredulity). 

297. (by profaning the solemn office of God's apostleship by making jests). 

48 Pv* I 

«'M • — SL. 


68, ( id &•?• ^U) They said : Supplicate your Lord for us that He make 
clear to us what she may be. 298 Musa said : He says, she should be a cow 
neither old nor young, but middling between the two ; so perform what you are 

69.. ( .yjybUY. . .l^U), They said : supplicate your Lord for us that He 
make clear to us what her colour may be. Musa said : He says : she should be 
a yellow cow whose colour is bright 299 delighting the beholders. 

70. ( . 5 ^J. . .IjJU) They, said : supplicate your Lord for us that He 
make clear to us what she may be ; 300 the cow has become dubious to us, 801 and 
surely, if God 302 will, we shall now be guided. 

^" (isir**^ • • lP) Musa said : He says, surely she should be a cow 
unyoked not broken to till the ground or to water the field, sound, and without 
blemish in her. 893 They said : you have now brought the truth. 304 Then they 
slaughtered her, and they were well-nigh not doing it. 305 


72. ( . y££>. . .i\ A And recall when you 306 slew a person, then quarrel- 
led among yourselves concerning it, 307 and Allah was to disclose 308 what you 
were hiding. 809 

73. (.^JU*?. . .UUi) Then we said : strike him 310 with part of her. 311 
Thus 812 will Allah bring to life the dead, 313 and He shows you His signs 814 that 
haply you may understand. 316 

298. (as to her age). 

299. 'Or rather fawn-coloured as are most of the cows of Arabia.' (Lskj' 
*St,i signifies both intensely yellow and intensely red. It is also applied to signify 
any colour free from admixture. 

//. Surat-ul-Baqarah 49 

300. (in her other particulars) . 

301. (as there are so many cows answering to this description) . 

302. 'God', not ' Allah/ because the speakers here are Jews. 

303. The Hebrew term for "blemish" seems to have originally meant a 
"black spot." It denotes anything abnormal or deviating from a given standard 
whether physical, moral or ritualistic. "Biblical legislation makes^certain kinds of 
blemishes a ground for disqualification of animals for sacrifice." (JE. III. p. 240) 

304. i. e. 9 plain and full description. 

305. . i. e. 9 they looked not doing that, considering their long-drawn quibble 
and the contentious nature of their questioning. 

306. (O Children of Israel!). 

307. (each of you accusing his fellow of the murder). 

308. (in a way undreamt of by you). 

309. And. this was the occasion of the command to slaughter the cow. 

310. i. e., the person slain. 

311. i. e. 9 the slaughtered cow. 

312. i. e.. as in this particular instance, the person slain was raised to life; 

313. (on the Day of Judgment). 

314. i. e. 9 signs of His power and potency. 

315. (and may learn that He who is able to raise to life one soul is able to 
raise to life many souls). 

50 Part I 

74. ( .JL*;. . .*>) Then your hearts hardened thereafter, 316 so they were 
as stones, 317 or even harder ; and surely of stones there are some from which rivers 
gush forth, and surely there are of them some that split and water issues there- 
from, and surely there are of them some that fall down in awe of Allah, 318 and 
Allah is not unmindful of what you do. 318 - 

75. ( v jJUj, . .^yttfesit) Do you 320 covet then that they 321 would believe 
for you 322 whereas surely a section of them has been hearing the word of Allah, 
and then perverting it 323 after they have understood it 324 while they know. 325 

76. (^jjtfju. . . \i\ . ) And when they 326 meet those who believe they say: 
we believe, and when some of them 327 are alone with some others 328 they 329 
say: 330 do you 331 tell them 382 of what God has opened to you ; so that they may 
dispute with you therewith before your Lord ?. Understand then you not ? 333 

77. (■" .,juUj. . .1U) Do they not know that Allah knows what they hide 
and what they make known ? 334 

316. (instead of being chastened) 

317. 'O Lord ! . . . thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved ; thou 
hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction ; they have 
made their faces harder than a rock ; they have refused to return/ (Je. 5: 3) 
'This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the Lord their God, nor receiveth 
correction/ (7 : 28) 'Why should ye be stricken any more ? Ye will revolt more 
and more/ (Is. 1:5). C A11 the house of Israel are impudent and hard-hearted/ 
(Ez. 3:7) 

318. A beautiful description, in parable, of three grades of a righteous 
people : — 

(a) those who do universal good, such as the prophets (like big rivers 
in their beneficence) . 
' v (ft) those whose outlook is not so broad, yet who do immense service 
within their limited sphere, such as the saints and martyrs (like 
smaller streams and rivulets) ; and 

/#. Surat-ul-Baqarah 51 

(c) those who are true and faithful at least to their own selves ; — the 
general community of the faithful (like stones which- are impres- 

319. (and He shall call you to account at the proper time) 

320. (O Muslims!). 

321. i. e.j the Jews,— a people so hard-hearted. 

322. i. e. 9 for your sake. 

323. Islam was not the first ■' to accuse the Jews of deliberate perversion of 
their sacred texts. The charge dates back to Jeremiah, one of their own prophets. 
'Ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the Lord of hosts, our God.' 
(Je. 23 : 36) In the N. T. also there are several allusions to the Jews corrupting 
and perverting the word of God, as in 2 Go. 2 : 17 ; Ti. 1 : 10. That the books of 
the OT exist now in their original purity is not the position of anybody to-day— 
not even of the most conservative Jew. 

324. i. ■>.-, their act of perverting their sacred text is deliberate and with a 
set purpose, so that far from being ashamed of it they are proud of their perfor- 

325. Very interesting and very illuminating are the Jews/ own description 
of the 'Books' of the Bible and their ascription of the authorship to 'ancient sages' 
and to 'great teachers' and never to the Divine Author Himself. 'That the real 
authority of the Bible is intrinsic rather than prescriptive becomes clear as soon as 
we think of the circumstances in which the Scriptural canon was formed. The 
decision by which certain books were included in the Bible and others excluded, 
was a purely human decision. The great teachers sat in judgment upon the claims 
of the various works, and decided upon those claims by the light of reason — in 
other words, by the internal merits of the works themselves. Nor was the decision 
always easy. The fate of some books, like Ecclesiastes, and Ganticles, and Esther, 
was, we learn, trembling in the balance even as late as the third century of the 
present era. The touchstone applied to the various Books was intrinsic worth, and 
nothing else.' (Joseph, Judaism as Creed and Life, p. 18) 'The Bible, being the 
work of godly men, necessarily contains both a Divine and a human element. But, 
since everything human is imperfect, we must not expect to find an absolutely 
perfect representation of Divine truth even in God's Book. Rays of light, pene- 
trating through a stained-glass window not only part with some of their brilliance but 
borrow the various colours of the panes. It is so with the Bible. . . To think 
otherwise is to imagine that the authors of the Bible were not human beings but 
Divine.' (p. 20) 'Some of the Biblical stories are clearly legends though highly 
beautiful and instructive. ...In regard to . scientific, matters it reflects only the 
knowledge of the age in which each writer lived.' (pp. 22-23) 'The Pentateuch is 
the work not of one hand but of many hands . . . Similar views prevail among 
scholars with regard to other books of the Bible/ (p. 24) 'Jewish tradition, while 

52 ^^ p ar t i 

insisting that same Biblical books were composed by the chief actors therein, which 
is not at all unreasonable, does not hesitate to admit later elaboration and revision 
of certain books in the Bible/ (VJE. p. 93) 'As an unimpeachable source of 
history and chronology the Bible is often disappointing, exhibiting statements and 
data which seem either vague or contradictory or else fail to agree, with what is 
known of contemporary oriental history and chronology/ (p. 95) 'Ancient Jewish 
traditions attributed the authorship of the Pentateuch (with the exception of the 
last eight verses describing Moses' death) to Moses himself. But the many incon- 
sistencies and seeming contradictions contained in it attracted the attention of the 
Rabbis, who exercised their ingenuity in reconciling them/ (JE. IX. p. 589) 
'Spinoza goes so far as to attribute the composition of the Pentateuch not to Moses, 
but to Ezra, which view appears to have existed even in the time of the Apocrypha/ 
(p. 590) The latest analysis, however; has led finally to the definitive attribution of 
the Pentateuch contents to no less than twenty-eight different sources, (ib) 

326. *.*., the hypocrites among the Jews, posing as Muslims but infidels 
at heart. 

327. *\ £., the dissemblers among them. 

328. i. e.y the open rejectors of Islam among them, . 

329. (of the latter variety), i..e. 9 the avowed enemies of Islam. 

330. (to those who have been indiscreet in their speech) . 

331. (O our foolish brethren !) 

332. i.e., the Muslims. 

333. This is how the more obdurate among the Jews remonstrated with 
their co-religionists for opening their hearts to the Muslims. The allusion is to such 
matters as prophecies about the Prophet of Islam and. any other information that 
the Muslims might have made use of and that -might have proved damaging to the 
cause of Jewish religion. 

334. How foolish, then, was their attempt to conceal their Scripture's know- 
ledge from the Muslims ! 

II.Surat-ul-Baqarah 53 





78. (^.^jlIsj. . . a$ju r ) And of them 336 are unlettered ones who do not 
know the Book but their own vain desires, 336 and they but conjecture. 387 

79. ( .^^j . .Jj 5 i) Woe then to them 338 who write out the Book 339 
with their own hands and say thereafter : this is from God, 340 that they may barter 
it for a small price. Woe then to them for what their hands have written, 341 and 
woe to them for that they earn thereby ! 342 

80. (^.jJIjJ. .. .JU A And they say : Fire will not touch us 348 save for a 
few numbered days. 344 Say thou : 345 have you taken a covenant 346 with Allah, 
so that Allah shall not fail His covenant or do you fabricate against Allah 347 what 
you have no knowledge of ? 

81. ( v'yxte.. . . 1>) Yea ! whoso 348 earns vice 349 and his sin has encom- 
passed him 350 — —these shall be the inmates of the Fire 351 as abiders therein. 

®2. ( #J ^Uc* • • • .y->&U) And tJie y who believe and do righteous works— 
these shall be the inmates of the Garden as abiders therein. 

335. i. e., the Jews. 

336. i. *., the products of imagination and fancy. Cf. the NT :— 'The time 
will come when they will not endure sound doctrine ; but after their own lusts shall 
they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears ; and they shall turn away their 
ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables/ (2 Ti. 4 : 3-4) 

337. It is perhaps to these fancies and conjectures that Paul refers as 
'foolish questions and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law/ 
(Tt. 3:9) 

338. i. e. 9 the learned among the Jews. 

339. i.'.e.-, any part thereof. 

340. Pseudepigraphy or 'the habit of adopting literary disguises' is a very 
old one in Hebrew literature. According to the views of higher criticism, there are 
a large number of books of the Old Testament which might be included under the 
foregoing heading/ (JE. X. p. 256) 'The ancients regarded the whole mass of the 
national religious writings as equally holy . . . The canonical books, therefore, needed 

54 Part I 

no special designation, since all were originally holy. A hew term had to be coined 
for tli e new idea of non-holy Books/ (III. pp. 140-141) The habit of literary 
forgeries had grown so strong with the Jews that in the first and second centuries of 
the Christian era they felt no scruple in composing works depicting 'the grandeur 
and moral elevation of Judaism, and ascribing their own writings to heathen poets 
and celebrities/ (II. p. 9) 'Pseudepigraphy — ascribing the authorship of a 
book, falsely, to some person of note in order to make it more popular — has 
frequently been practised in Jewish literary history. Possibly, there are examples of 
it in the Bible (e.g., the latter part of the book of David )> and the best known 
example is probably the Zohar/ (VJE. p. 542) 

341. 'Some of the modern Biblical scholars have not been content only 
with explaining and justifying the practice but have gone the entire length of 
extolling it, and that too with an artistry that makes the fabrication a most touching 
form of self-effacement. For instance, Mr. J. W. Chadwick, in his Bible of To-dqy, 
writes : — "There is this at least to be said for those who put forth their own writings 
for those of illustrious men who had lived long before. It was not for themselves 
tliey desired the honour which would accrue from such a course: no, but only for 
the word they had to speak, the cause they wished to serve. If only this might 
prosper they were willing to remain for ever in obscurity. And there they have 
remained until this day/' One wonders whether it has ever occurred to such 
apologists that the same justification, or rather glorification, of the fabricator of the 
Holy Writ, may well be applied to the case of those clever rogues "behind the 
scenes" at Delphi who were equally "willing to remain for ever in obscurity" if only 
the cause of their oracle might prosper and who have equally "remained there 
until this day." Nay, what is there to prevent this plea being pushed to its logical 
conclusion in order to extol the cleverness of every forger of a cheque, every manu- 
facturer of currency notes and every counterfeiter of coins provided only that the 
motive, of such self-effacement and impersonation was presumed to benefit other 
people as well." (MA) 

342. Thus the Qur'an condemns both the ends and the means equally 
emphatically. Contrast with this the doctrine of Paul: 'If the truth of God hath 
more abounded through my lie unto His glory; why yet am I also judged as a 
shiner?' (Ro. 3:7) An interesting illustration of 'the; end justifying the means !' 
'Such fraud upon human conscience is indeed woeful and no less woeful is the petty 
purpose that the perpetrators of such frauds have in view compared with the divine 
purpose of transcendent importance running through God's revelations/ (MA) 

343. "Us" means the Israelites as a race, as a people. They considered 
themselves as such immune from the punishment of the Hereafter. 'In the 
Hereafter Abraham will sit at the entrance of Gehinnom and will not allow any 
circumcised Israelite to descend into it. As for those who sinned unduly, what 
does he do then ? He removes the foreskin from children who had died before 

//. Surat-u/Bagarah 55 

circumcision, places it upon them and sends them down to Gehinnom/ (ET. p. 404) 
'Israelites who are circumcised will not descend to Gehinnom/ (ib) 'The Fire of 
Gehinnom has no power over the disciples of the Sages . . . The Fire of Gehinnom 
has no power over the sinners in Israel/ (p. 405) 'The Fire of Gehinnom does not 
touch the Jewish sinners because they confess their sins before the gates of Hell and 
return to God. ' (JE. V. p. 583) 

344. 'Forty days : the period during which they worshipped the calf/ 

345. (O Prophet!). 

346. (to that effect) 

347. ^jjLe \\J is equivalent ^jj^ jXj ] 'He lied, or said, what was false 
against him/ (LL) 

348. i. e. y to whatsoever race or nation he may belong. 

349. The implication of \^^$ is that misdeeds are intentional, not acci- 

350. The implication of the word <-^JaUsJ * s tnat not a trace is left of virtue, 
which is possible only in the case of those who are totally devoid of faith. 

351. (and this will be in utter disregard of their ancestry). 

56 Pan H 


gy» . . , 7£\ 


83- ( •i**;**'. . .'<SI .) And reca// when We took a bond with the children 
of Israil saying : 'you shall not worship any god. save Allah,* 62 and show kindness 
to parents 353 and also to the kindred and the orphans 364 and the needy, 355 and 
speak kindly to mankind 366 and establish prayer and give the poor-rate. Then you 
turned away 357 , save a few of you, and you are backsliders. 358 

84. I ■ ^q&l . •£!'.) And recall when We took a bond with you, saying : 
you shall not shed your blood, 369 nor drive one another from your homes, then 
you ratified it, 360 and you were witnesses. 361 

85. ( .i'jJUju. . ./") Thereafter it is you the very ones who slay one another 
and driye a section of you from their homes; and conspire 362 against them 363 
with guilt and iniquity, 364 and if they come to you as captives you ransom them ; 
yet forbidden to you was their driving away. 365 Do you believe then in part of 
the Book and disbelieve in part ? What then, is to be the recompense of those 
of you who do that, save humiliation in the life of the world. 366 And on the Day 
of Judgment they shall be brought back to the severest torment ; 367 and Aliah is 
nor unmindful of what they do. 

352. Literally 'ye shall not worship any one save Allah' ^y| JL*^ J )tfsJ. 
Indicative mood in the sense of imperative. Cf. the OT : — 'And God spake all these 
words saying, I am the Lord thy God . . . Thou shalt have no other gods before me/ 
(Ex. 20 : 1-3) 'The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb ... I am the 
Lord thy God . . . Thou shalt have none other gods before me/ (Dt. 5:2, 6:7) 
'Hear O Israel : the Lord our God is our Lord . . . Thou shalt fear the Lord .thy 
God, and serve him ... ye shall not go after other gods/ (6 : 4, 13, 14) 

353. 'Honour thy father and thy mother/ (Ex. 20 : 12 ; Dt. 5 : 16) 

354. 'Orphans are represented throughout the Bible as helpless beings and 
therefore the Pentateuch reiterates continually the command to render justice to 
orphans/ (JE. IX. p. 438) 

355. 'Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and 
to thy needy, in thy land/ (Dt. 15 : 11) 

//. Surat-ul-Baqarah 57 

356. Notice that the Muslims are enjoined to behave with courtesy and 
politeness towards one and all. 

357. 'They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded 
them/ (Ex. 32:8) 

358. 'I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people/ 
(Ex. 32 : 9) 'Thou art a stiffnecked people.? (33 : 3) 'Ye are a stiffnecked people/ 
(33: 15) 'It is a stiffnecked people/ (34:9) 'Thou art a stiffnecked people ... 
From the day that thou didst depart out of the land of Egypt, until ye came unto 
this place, ye Have been rebellious against the Lord. Also in Horeb ye provoked 
the Lord to wrath, so that the Lord was angry with you to have destroyed you/ 
(Dt. 9 : 6, 7, 8) * Ye rebelled against the commandment of the Lord your God, and 
ye believed him not, nor hearkened to his voice. Ye have been rebellious against the 
Lord from the day that I knew you/. (9 : 23-24) . 

359. 'Thou shalt not kill' (Ex. 20 : 13) 'Wherefore I command thee . . . 
That innocent blood be not shed in thy land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee 
for an inheritance/ (Dt. 19 : 7, 10) 

360. i. e., affirming it willingly and "expressly. 'And they said, All that the 
Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient/ (Ex, 24 : 7) 

361. (thereto). 'Abrahamitic covenant .. .was renewed on Mount Sinai 
when, before the giving of the Law, Israel as a people pledged itself to keep his 
covenant/ (JE. IV. p. 319) 'They were convinced that Moses repeated GocKs 
words to them faithfully, and they declared themselves willing to hear all that 
he spoke in God's name, and to act accordingly. God thereupon revealed to 
Moses all the commandments and all the statutes and judgments, which Moses 
communicated to th$ people/ (XII. (p. 133) 

362. (with their foes). The allusion is to the Jews of Madlna. 

.363. /The Jews took an active part in the battle of Buath between the 
Banu Aus and the Banu Khazraj. The Banu Nadir and the Banu Kuraiza fought 
with the Banu Aus, while the Banu Kainuka were allied with the Banu Khazraj. 
The latter were defeated after a long and desperate battle/ (JE. VIII. p. 423) 
The Jewish tribes 'took part in the quarrels of the two Arab clans with whom they 
intermarried' and 'they fought occasionally on both sides/ (II. p. 42) 

364. All this refers to the Arab Jews of the Prophet's time, a section of 
whom always sided with the pagans in the latter's war upon another section of. the 
Jews, and thus out of petty animosities they were led to the destruction of their 

365. 'Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house'. (Ex. 20: 17) 

366. A prophecy that proved true to the letter, in a few years' time, by the 
utter extermination of the Jewish tribes in Arabia, great and mighty as they were. 

367. .Compare denunciation of the Jews in the NT: — 'Ye serpents, ye 
generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of Hell ?' (Mt. 23 : 3.3) 

58 Part II 

riZiir .. __ &. 

86. / . 5r ^xj. . .cj;jyJ)- These are they who have purchased the life of 
the world for 368 the Hereafter ; so the torment shall not be lightened for them, 
nor shall they be helped. 869 


87. .(^ •!*£;. . •Aa> 5 ) And assuredly We gave to Musa the Book, a7 ° and 
Wefollowed him up by mesengers 371 after him ; and to 1-sa, 372 son of Maryam, 373 
We gave the evidences 374 and aided him with the holy Spirit. 375 Then whenever 
there came to you a messenger with what your hearts desired not 376 you waxed 
: stiff necked, 877 and some you denied 378 and others you slew. 379 

88. ( . 5 jl^j. . .^JU 5 ) And they say : 380 our hearts are in a covering. 381 
Nay ! Allah has cursed them because of their infidelity : 38 * little therefore is that 
which they believe. 388 

89. (jjjfX) I. . .UO And when there came to them a Book 884 from Allah 
confirming what was with them, 385 - — and aforetime they were entreating God 

for victory 386 over those who disbelieved, 387 then when there came to them 

what they recognized, 388 they disbelieved therein ; so Allah's curse 389 be on the 

■ infidels -I. 

368. i. e. y at the price of : in exchange for. 

369. (by the intercession of prophets and angels). 

370. i..*., the Torah. 

371. (from amongst the Children of Israel). 

372. *. e., Jusus, the last prophet of the house of Israel, who, according to 
his apostles at Jerusalem, 'was the Christ as the anointed man, not as the incarnate 
Angel, Messiah born by a virgin, nor as the man united with the celestial Christ by 
the Holy Spirit/ (Bunsen, Islam or True Christianity, p. HI) The latter-day 
conceptions of the so-called 'Christianity' were recognised neither by Jesus himself 
nor his twelve apostles, (ib) 

//. SQrat-ul-Baqarah 59 

373. i. e. y Mary; 'Son of Mary/ that is, son of a woman, and therefore a 
mortal like other human beings; and not 'Son of God' or co-equal with Him in any 
respect or in any sense of the word. 

374. (of his prophethood) i. e., miracles and the Scriptures. He was a true 
and honoured prophet of God ! 

375. i. e., the angel Gabriel who attended on Jesus (peace be on him!) 
constantly and succoured him in a special way. This 'holy spirit' of Islam has 
nothing, save name, in common with the 'Holy Ghost' of Christianity, who is 'the 
Third Person of the Blessed Trinity .... .the Spirit of the Father and of the Son' 
proceeding 'alike from both as from one common principle.' (CD. p. 451) Islam 
has no such preposterous proposition to support as that 'the Holy Spirit is rightly 
included in the Godhead, and to be worshipped and glorified with the Father and 
the Son as divine.' (ERE. XI. p. 798) Nor has it any such polytheistic doctrine to 
promulgate as that the Holy Spirit is 'Sovereign and Life-giving Who prpceedeth 
from the Father. Who with the Father and the Son is together worshipped and 
glorified.' (EBr. XL p. 635) 

376. i. e. with such commandments and laws as were not to your taste. 

377. .(scornfully rejecting the apostles). 

378. (and harassed and persecuted them). 

379. See nn. 269, 270 above. The tense of the verb .»JUa; implies that 
the Jews were making attempts on the life of the holy Prophet at the moment these 
words were being revealed. 

380. (in pride and conceit) . 

381. i. e., secure against that to which thou invitest us, and impervious to 
any new influence. The Jews in their aggressive self-conceit thought that they were 
above the advances of Islam and unsusceptible to them. lJJU plural of lJJU! 
literally means 'uncircumcised :' when applied to a heart, it means 'as though it 
were covered with a ;_jlU so that it does not learn, or covered from hearing and 
accepting the truth.' (LL) For the Biblical use of the word 'uncircumcised' in 
various connections see Ex. 6: 12, Ezek. 44: 7, and Ac. 7: 51. 

382. i. e., because of their persistent opposition to God's Messenger and 
their wilful blindness to see the truth. 

383. (and that 'little' belief shall not avail them). 

384. i. e., the Qur'an. 

385. (already), i. *., the Torah. 

386. (by the advent of a new Messenger or Messiah). ^3U£*u! signifies 
'He sought, desired, demanded, or asked, aid against an enemy, or victory.' (LL) 

387. i. e., the Arab idolaters. This refers to the Jews' anticipation of a 
Messiah under whom they hoped to fight and vanquish the Arab pagans.' 'Now the 
Jews oft-times suffered violence at their hands, and when strife was between them they 
had ever said to them, "Soon will a Prophet arise and his time is at hand ; him will 

60 Part II 

we follow, and with him slay you with the slaughter of <Ad and Iram" (Ibn Ishaq 
quoted in Arnold's Preaching of Islam, p. 20). 

388. (as the true Message and the true Messenger). 

389. For 'curses' compare the OT:— ''A curse, if ye will not obey the com- 
mandments of the Lord your God/ (Dt. 11 : 27) 'If thou wilt not hearken unto 
the voice of the Lord thy God . ..... all these curses shall come upon thee and 

overtake thee ; cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the 
field. Cursed shalt be thy basket and thy store. Cursed shalt be the fruit of thy 
body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of 
thy sheep. Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be 
when thou goest out. The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, 
in all that thou settest thy hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, arid until 
thou perish quickly ; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast 
forsaken me.' (28:15-20) In the NT there are curses against the barren fig-tree, 
the scribes and Pharisees. 

//. Surat-ul Baqarah 61 

fi33r ^ . , : Sl 

90. Y^,*. . ;U«&) Vj, e is that for which they have sold themselves, 
disbelieving in what Allah has sent down, 390 out of envy, 391 that Allah shall reveal, 
out of His grace, to whomsoever of His bondmen He will. 392 Therefore they have 
drawn upon themselves wrath upon wrath, 393 and to the infields shall be a 
torment ignominious. 394 

91 . ( jjL,*^. . .f il 5 ) And when it is said to them : believe jn what Ailah 
has, sent down now, they say : we believe in what has been sent down to us. 395 
And they disbelieve in what is besides that, while it is the truth, confirming what 
is with them. 396 Say thou : 397 why then did you kill Allah's prophet's aforetime 398 
if you have been believers ? 399 

92. ■'•( i j Y JJb. • •*&'%) And assuredly MusS came to you with evidence^ 
then you took to yourselves the calf 400 after him, 401 and you were transgressors. 

93. ( jjuj*. . 5 ) And recall when We took your bond and raised over 
you the Tur, 402 say ing : hold fast to what We gave you and listen. They said : 
we hear and we deny. 403 And into their hearts the calf 404 was made to sink 
because of their infidelity. 406 Say thou 406 : vile is what your belief commands 
you, if you are believers at all.* 01 

■94. ( # yjd^. . . Jj) Say thou : 408 if for you alone is the abode of the Here- 
after with Allah to the exclusion of mankind, 409 then long for death, if you are 
truthful. 410 

390. (as His Message). 

391. This emphasises the fact that Jewish opposition was not based upon 
any intellectual misapprehension, but was solely due to chagrin and malice at finding 
a non-Israelite endowed with the high gift of prophethood. 

392. The Jews, with the superiority complex of their race and their 
'election' were smarting under the fact, too real and too patent to be ignored, that 
the new Messenger had risen not among themselves but among their cousins, the 
children of Isma'il, whom they had so long held in contempt and derision. 

393. First, for denying God's truth: next, for the malice that prompted 
them to denial and defiance. 

62 Part II 

394. (in addition to its being painful). 

395. i: e. to bur people. The Jews held that believers they already were 
like any good Muslims, since they fully believed in the prophets of their own race. 
Why should they, thejy argued, be asked now to declare their belief in an Ishmaelite ? 

396. The answer to the Jewish argument is twofold. They ought to believe 
in the Qur'an, first, because it is True in itself, supported by independent evidence ; 
and secondly, because it confirms and corroborates and supplements their own 
Scripture, and does not detract from it. 

3971 (O Prophet!). 

398. 'They were disobedient - 9 and rebelled against thee and cast thy law 
behind their backs, and slew thy prophets/ (Ne. 9:26) See nn. 269, 270 above. 

\ 399. (as you profess). This is the third answer to the Jews. Why did they 
deny and slay prophets and apostles of their own race, if they had been believers all 
along? Why should have their history been red with the blood of their own 
prophets, if they were believers at all ? 

-400. (for worship). See nn. 217, 219 above. 

401. ■!..<?.■,■ while he was away even for the short space of a few weeks. 

402. See n. 284 above. 

403. Compare the OT for a similar, though not the same, occasion :— 
'Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways . . * . and walk therein, and ye shall find 
rest for your souls. . . . . But they said : We will not walk therein. Also I sent 

.watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said : 
We will not hearken." (Je. 6 : 16-17) 

404. t. e.> the love of it, JswJi being equivalent to Jsswjl^^ (}Q)* 

405. (as one vice necessarily leads to another). /And they were made to 
imbibe into their hearts the love of the calf/ (LL) 

406. (O Prophet!). 

407. The Jews professed to be men of faith and belief. The Qur'anic 
answer is : Look a^ your deep-rooted calf- worship. Is that to what your faith leads 
up ? Then that faith must be very vile indeed. 

408. (O Prophet!). 

409. (as you imagine in the height of your presumption). 'Ye are the 
children of the Lord your God . . . . thou art a holy people unto the Lord thy God, 
and the Lord hath chosen thee to be peculiar people unto himself/ (Dt. 14: 1-2) 

•Easily were these 'chosen of their Lord and the favourites of Jehovah* led to believe 
that none, save the descendants of Israel, would be recipient of His grace and 
blessing in the Hereafter. 'Salvation is of the Jews !' ( Jn. 4 : 22). 

410. t. *.., if you are sincere in your profession. 

//. Surat-uhBaqarah 63 

'iZtir s* 

3#&$* *W/ ^J^T ^iJtf a^w* © Q>*^*$teS&^&QJ$£frir 

95. (lo**^ j '« • •^ , 5) Anc * they wi,! never ,or >9 fo* it m because of 
what their hands have sent on before, 412 and Allah is Knower of transgressors. 

96. (^y^. . .^J^^>J 5 ) And surely thou 413 wilt find them 414 the 
greediest of all the people for life, 415 even greedier than those who associate. 416 
Every one of them desires life for a thousand years, 417 and yet this will not save 
him' from the torment 418 even if he has Ijved so Jong* 19 And Allah is Beholder 
of what they do. 


97. ( ^ju^jj. . ? .jj)--Say thou : 420 whoso is an enemy to Jibril 421 — — 
then surely it is he who 122 has brought down this Revelation, by Allah's com- 
mand, 423 to thy heart 424 confirming what went before, 425 and a guidance and 
glad tidings to the believers. 426 

98. iyjyfiXXU . vr») Whoso is an enemy to Allah and His angels and 
His messengers and Jibril and Mika'il, 427 then surely Allah is an enemy to the. 
infidels. 428 

99. (^a^j!. . .4XaJ 5 ) And assuredly We have sent down utfon thee 429 
evident signs 430 and none disbelieves in them except the wicked. 431 ' 

100. / .^jj. . .UJL5 5 l) Is it that whenever they 432 enter into a cove- 
nant 433 some party among them casts it aside ? Aye ! most of them dp not 
believe. 434 

411. conscious as their hearts are of their guilt. 

412. (of sins and misdeeds). 

413. (O reader!). 

414. (far from wishing death). 

415. 'Physical life is valued by the Hebrew as a precious gift, given that he 

64 Part II 

may walk before God in the land of the living/ (JE. VIII. p. 82). 'The same appre- 
ciative view of physical or earthly life prevails also among the Rabbis ......; 

hence, ordinarily, one should rather transgress a commandment than incur death/ 
(ib.) 'The prevalent custom among us/ says Judah Halevi, a prominent Jewish 
philosopher, 'is not to , .... . despise life ... . . , ; but to love the world and length of 

life'. (ERE. II. p. 99). 

416. (others with God), i. e. y the idolaters who had no belief in a life after 
death and hence their natural greediness of this world. 

417. So it is not without significance that the American Jews of the 
twentieth century record, with pride and pleasure, that c the Jews in the country, as 
well as abroad, enjoy a longevity superior to that of Christian population !' 
(JE. V. p. 308)/ 

418. (which is consequent on the nature of the life led in this world, and not 
on the number of the years lived). 

419. And so the care of a wise man should be to see how he lives rather than 
how long. 

420. (O Prophet !) . 

421. i. £., Gabriel, an arch-angel, whose function is to bring the divine 
message to the phenomenal world. Through him usually God sends down His 
revelation to the prophets. The Jewish conception is that Gabriel stands nearest to 
Michael but does not equal him in rank. ( JE. V. p. 541), and is the 'angel of 
heavenly vengeance and of fire/ (I. p. 593). The Jews considered Michael to be 
their national guardian, and made a grievance of the agency of Gabriel who accord- 
ing to them was the messenger of wrath and punishment. It was Michael, they said, 
who was the messenger of peace and plenty. Hence, they proceeded, they must 
treat as spurious the revelation ascribed to the instrumentality of Gabriel. 

422. (as a trusted messenger-intermediary). . 
423. and not of his own accord. 

424. (O Prophet!). 

425. (of the Divine Scriptures). 

426. This sums up the main characteristics of the Qur'an : — 

(a) It confirms and corroborates the revelations that have preceded it. 
■'(b) It is a guidance in itself. 
(c) It is a joyful annunciation to the faithful. 

427. i. e. 9 the angel MichaeL 

428. For all such hostilities amount to the rejection of, and disbelief in, the 
true faith. Cf, the Bible : 'I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way . . . 
Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not V (Ex. 23 : 20-21) : . . . 'but 

//. SUrat-UI-Baqarah 65 

they rebelled and vexed his holy Spirit : therefore he was turned to be their enemy, 
and he fought against them/ (Is. 63 : 10). 

429. (O Prophet!). 

430. (of messengers hip). The Jews had demanded some 'sign.' The reply 
is in effect: We have endowed the Prophet with not one but manifold signs, clear 
even to you. 

431. i. e., none save habitual criminals and confirmed offenders dare ignore 
or deny signs so clear. Cf. the NT: — 'Though he had done so many miracles 
before them, yet they believed not in him/ ( Jn. 12 : 37) 'An evil and adulterous 
generation seeketh after a sign/ (Mt. 12:39). 

432. i. e., the Jews. 

433. (of obedience). 

434. (in tHe very existence of such a bond or covenant). 


Part II 

ri£j> ; __-_ 

*01 • ( •) 5-.JU->. . •Uu) And whenever there, came to them a messenger 
from Allah confirming what was with them, 435 a party among those who were 
given the Book, cast Allah's Book 436 behind their backs as though they did not 
know. 437 

102. Li^JUj. . •i)**Jt,) And they 438 follow 439 what the satans 440 recited 
in the reign of SulaimSn. 441 And Sulaiman 442 blasphemed not 443 but the satans 
blasphemed, 444 teaching the people magic. And they 445 follow also what 446 was 
sent down 447 unto the two angels 448 in Babil, 449 Harut and Marut. To none did 
the twain teach 450 # 451 until they had said ; 452 'we are but a temptation, 453 so 
blaspheme not'. 454 But they 455 did learn 456 from the twain that with which they 
might separate man from his wife, 457 though they could harm none thereby 458 
save by Allah's will. 459 And they 460 have learnt what harms them 461 and do§s 
not profit them. 

And assuredly they khew 462 that whoso trafficks therein, his is no portion 
in the Hereafter. 468 And surely vile is the price for which they have bartered 
themselves ; would that they knew ! 

435. (of the earlier Scriptures). 

436. (containing clear. prophecies regarding the next Prophet). 

437. (that it contained any such prophecy). 

438. i. e., the Jews of Arabia, who were noted for their feats of exorcism 
and magic. 'The practice of magic was common throughout ancient Israel ...../ 
A knowledge of magic was indispensable to a member of the chief council or of the 
judiciary, and might be acquired even from the heathen. The most profound 
scholars were adepts in the black art, and the law did not deny its power. The 
people who cared little for the views of the learned, were devoted to witchcraft. 
"Adultery and sorcery have destroyed everything; the Majesty of God 

departed from Israel Exorcism also flourished ...... The Greco-Roman 

world regarded the Jews as a race of magicians." (JE. VIII p. 255). This 

II. Surat-ul-Baqarah 67 

reputation of the Jews as skilled magicians and expert exorcists continued right up 
to the time of the holy Prophet. 'They were,* in Arabia at the advent of Islam, 
'adepts in magic, and preferred the weapons of the black art to those of open 
warfare/ (Margoliouth, Mohammad, p. 189) The Arab Jews were adepts in the 
black magic both of Palestine and and Chaldia (Babylonia). They inherited the 
one and acquired the other. The Chaldeans after they had ceased to be a nation, 
'dispersed all over the world, carrying their delusive science with them practising 
and . teaching it, welcomed everywhere by the credulous and superstitious/ 
(Ragozin, Chaldea, p. 255) And no better pupil could they have found than the 
Jews. 'Babylonia ...... continued to be regarded with reverence by the Jews in 

all parts/ (JE. II. pp. 413-414) 'Contact with Babylonia tended to stimulate 
the angelology and demonology of Israel/ (EBr. XIII. p. 187, 11th. Ed.). 

439. (instead of following the precepts of the Qur'an). 

440. i. r., malevolent genii or j inns. There also may be a tacit reference to 
the malcontent historical personalities of Prophet Solomon's time— the renegade 
Jeroboam and the apostate Ahijah, for example, and their band of rebellious cons-, 
pirators and unbelieving soothsayers. 

441 . i. >., the arts of black magic, sorcery and witchcraft. The Jews of the 
holy Propht/s-time are charged with following the old devilish craft, and for 
taking those practices of crude occultism as a fair substitute for spiritual truths and 
religious learning and piety. u is also used in the sense of J as in the saying . ... 

^L*JU lJX* ^ ^LiaAJ! [fitt U t j**Jt j >; *•> ^U*JU UCJU ^j ^i meaning]: 
And they followed what the devils related, or recited, in the time of, or during the 
reign of Suleyman/ . (LL) 

442. i. *., King Solomon (973-933 B. C.) of the Bible, who, according to 
the teachings of Islam, was not an idolatrous king, but a true prophet of God and a 
benevolent and wise ruler. He was, as his name implies, essentially a man of peace. 
The Jew>, true to their traditions of ingratitude and malevolence, have not hesitated 
to malign their own hero and national benefactor, Prophet Solomon (on him be 
peace !), and to accuse him of the most heinous of all offences — idolatry ! (See I Ki. 
11:4, 9, 10). ^They have also unblushingly attributed to him the cult of crude 
occultism and witchraft. The Qiir^an upholds the honour of all prophets of God, 
to whatever race or age they may belong, and believes in the saintliness and sinless- 
ness of every one of them. It takes this opportunity to sweep aside all the ugly 
tales and outrageous imputations about Solomon, and says in effect that far from 
being an unbeliever or a blasphemer, he never practised any such black art as the 
pagans did. 

443. (as supposed by the Jews and Christians). Observe the result of 
modern research by Biblical scholars themselves into the ''polytheism' of Solomon 
maintained by the Bible and stoutly denied by the ^Joly Qur'an. 'That Solomon 
had a number of wives both Israelite and non-Israelite, is probable enough, but he 

68 * Part II 

did not make altars for all of them, nor did he himself combine the worship of his 
wives' gods with- that of Yahwe. He can have had no thought of denying the sole 
divinity of Yahwe in the land which was Yahwe's "inheritance" .... . We have 
no reason to doubt that according to his lights he was a faithful worshipper of 
Yahwe, so far as this was consistent with his despotic inclinations/ (EBi. c. 4689). 
'That the king abandoned his faith in J and became an idolater is difficult to 
believe, while it is easy to conceive how the fame to that effect may have arisen ... 
That he should have been guilty of the apostasy and sin alleged seems incredible and 
inexplicable on any supposition except one, viz*, that his mode of life had left him 
prematurely worn out both in body and mind, so as to be, even in the fifth decade 
of his age, in a senile condition and hardly responsible for his actions. That is little 
if anything more .than a supposition.' (DB. IV. pp. 567, 568) 'Solomon was a 
sincere worshipper of Yahwe, more cultured but less passionate in his devotion than 
David.' (EBr. XX. p. 952). 

444. (and took shelter behind the name of that great monotheist). 

445. t. #., the Jews. 

446. (variety of magic and witchcraft) . 

447. 'Which was sent down' means 'of which a special and intimate know- 
ledge wa§ given', in order that its nature be explained and its mischief be demons- 
trated in full, and people may be weaned from the engulfing superstition, just as a 
physician acquires an intimate knowledge of diseases not of course to propagate but 
to combat them and just again as a police-officer' familiarizes himself with the ways 
of criminals and law-breakers with the sole object of checkmating them. 

448. (in human form). 

449. i. $., Babylonia, the strongest citadel of magic and witchcraft in all 
antiquity. 'It was to the exorcising of demons that so large, so disproportionate, a 
part of the religions of Babylonia and Ninevah was devoted/ (Rogers, Religion of 
Babylonia and Assyria, p. 145) 'Soothsaying and exorcism are so exceedingly nume- 
rous as to form the chief component of the whole Babylonian religious literature.' 
(ERE. II. p. 116). 'As Chaldean meant Babylonian ... so after the Persian 
conquest it seems to have connoted the Babylonian literati and become a synonym 
of soothsayer or astrologer. In this sense it passeej irito classical writers.' (EBi. c. 
721). It was amori^ a people so deeply immersed in the arts of black magic, and at 
a time when prophets and saints, and men of God in general, had become- mixed 
up, in the popular mind, with sorcerers, enchanters, soothsayers and magicians, that 
two special angels, in human form, were deputed to correct the prevalent miscon- 
ceptions, to contradistinguish the genuine men of God from the 'spiritists' and 
exorcists; and to inculcate in the people respect and reverence for prophethood. 

450. i. *., made known by way of illustrating or explaining its nature. 
Perspns of morbid curiosity and roguish propensity gathered round the twain, and 
under pretext of knowing from them in detail what constituted magic and what did 

//. Surat-ul-Baqarah 69 

not, sought to learn those very practices and devices which it was the mission of the 
angels to condemn and to eradicate. 

451. i. e., the magic formula. 

452. (as a measure of further precaution). To no one did the angels 
reproduce the enchantments unless they had taken this further precaution. 

453. (whereby the condition of a man is evinced in respect of good and evil) . 
£jjcj 'signifies a trial, or probation, and affliction . . . and particularly an affliction 
whereby one is tried, proved, or tested .... Or a means whereby the condition of a 
man is evinced, in respect of good and of evil : hence it often means a temptation/ 

(ll). . fiix>\ y >ux£>] ^\m3 ( X Q)- 

454. (the name of God by adopting and practising these devilish crafts). 
The twain, even when pressed by the logic of the situation to repeat, in spite of 
themselves, the nefarious formula invariably prefaced it with this warning. 

455. i. e., the wicked ones, as the majority of the Babylonians were. 

456. i. e., managed to learn ; snatched the knowledge of — — 

457. 'Th<p commonest form of magic was the love-charm, specially the love- 
charm required for an illicit amour. Such magic was practised specially by women 
so that magic and adultery frequently are mentioned together . . .. The context of 
the passages in Exodus which mention sorcery clearly shows that it was associated 
with sexual license and unnatural vices,- (JE. VIII. pv 255) 

458. i.^., with those charms and enchantments. So no superstitious fear of 
the potency and efficacy of sorcery should arise in any mind. 

459. i. e., except in accordance with His physical laws subject to which 
poisons operate and disasters, diseases, and all events undesirable from the indivi- 
dual's point of view, occur every day. i 1 is not only 'permission or leave* but also 

460. i.e.., the Jews. 

461. (Morally and spiritually like every other sin), i.e., it recoils upon 

462. (from their own Scriptures and sacred lore). 

463. 'Neither shall ye use enchantment/ (Le. 19 : 26) 'There shall not be 
found among you anyone that maketh his son or daughter to pass through the fire, . 
or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or 
a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For 
all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord : and because of these 
abominations the Lord trryr God doth drive them out from before thee/ (Dt. 18.; 

70 Part II 

103. (^jJIju. ^.f^I yh) An< * Jhad they believed and feared, 464 surely 
better had been the reward from Allah ; yyould that they knew I 


104. (hJU . • L o^^JV^b) ^ y° u who believed ! do not say 465 : V?a'/>?a, 466 
but say: Unzuma** 1 and listen; and to the infidels 468 (shall be) a torment 
afflictive. 469 

105. ^^fejUf^.-.i-^jiiJl^ U) Those who disbelieve, be they of the people 
of the Book 470 or of the associators/ 471 do not like that aught of good 472 should 
be sent down upon you 473 from your Lord whereas Allah singles out for His 
mercy whom He will, 474 and Allah is .Possessor of mighty grace. 475 

1 06. (^ai. . .^u**j U) Whatsoever verse 476 We abrogate 477 or cause to be 
forgotten 478 We bring a better one 479 or the like of it ; dost thou 480 not know that 
Allah is oyer everything Potent ? 481 

107. (#«&. . .*Jl) Dost thou not know 482 that surely Allah ! His is the 
dominion of the heavens and the earth ? 488 And for you 484 there is, beside 
Allah, no guardian or helper. 

464. (God, like the Muslims). 

465. (unto the Prophet, when addressing him or drawing his attention). 

466. i. e., 'listen to us/ The term, innocent in itself, was turned by a little 
twist in pronunciation into a word of reproach and insult by the Jews when addres 
sing the holy Prophet — to such depths of pettiness had they descended! The 
Muslims are forbidden to use this ambiguous expression to call the holy Prophet's 

467. i. e\, 'look upon us 5 ; as this term was free from undesirable suggestions. 

468. i. e., such of them as in their intense hatred of the Prophet have even 
done away with the common decency of speech. 

469. (for the meanness of their demeanour and their hatred of the 
Messenger of Truth). How on earth could a people so filled with venom of hate 

//. Surat-ul-Baqarah 71 

and malice derive any benefit from the teacning ot the Final Teacher? 

470. In contradistinction to the idolaters, Islam gives this name, 'the people 
of the Book' to the Jews and Christians on account of their possessing, in a falsified 
form though, divine books of revelation, and grants them a privileged position. 
Here the Jews are meant in particular. 

47 1- ^y^^Jt is grammatically coupled with ^tXXj! J,*! and is, in the 
objective case, governed by the preposition ^ not in the nominative and coupled 
with tjjii ^joJl a s rendered by most of the English translators. 

472. —much less the highest good, the gift of prophethood. 

473. (O Muslims!) 

474. (irrespective of race, age, colour and country). 

475. So He can be as Gracious to the descendants of Isma'll as He has been 
to the race of Israel. 

476. (whether of the Qur'an or of the '-earlier. Scriptures). The word &J 
has several distinct meanings, the principal ones*, according to LL. are : — 

(a) a sign, token, or mark, by which a person or thing is known. (A) "a 
miracle, a wonder of God. (c) an example, a warning. (4) a verse of the Qur'an, 
or of the former Scriptures. 

477. There is nothing to be ashamed of in the doctrine of certain laws, 
temporary or local, being superseded or abrogated by certain other laws, permanent 
and universal, and enacted by the same law-giver, specially- during the course of the 
promulgation of that law. The; course of Quranic Revelation has been avowedly 
gradual. It took about 23 years to finish and complete the Legislation. Small 
wonder, then, that certain minor laws, admittedly transitory, were replaced by 
certain qthers, lasting and eternal. Even Divine laws may be subject to Divine 
improvement, just as is every object and phenomenon in the physical universe of 
His creation. It must be, however, clearly understood that the doctrine of abroga- 
tion applies to 'law' only, and even there to those of minor or secondary importance. 
Beliefs, articles of faith, principles of law, narratives, exhortations, moral precepts, 
and spiritual verities, — none of these is at all subject to abrogation or repeal. 

478. (from men's minds and memories). 

479. i.e., better suited to the exigencies of time and place. 

480. (O captious objector !). 

481. (so it is easy for Him to provide laws for every possible contingency). 

482. (O captious objector !), 

483. So He alone is the Arbiter and Law-giver. He can enact or revoke 
whatever He will. None there is to hamper or obstruct His prerogative. 

484. (O mankind!). 


72 Part II 


108. (j^J U . .^ 'i^jj j) Do you seek 485 to question 486 your messen- 
ge 487 as Musa was questioned 488 before ? And whoso exchanges infidelity for 
belief, he has assuredly strayed from the even way. 

109. (yj s3. . .*> .) Many of the people of the Book desire that they could 
turn you away 489 as infidels after you have believed, out of envy from their souls, 490 
after the truth has dawned upon them ; 491 so pardon them 492 and pass over/ 
until Allah sends the command. 493 Surely Allah is over everything Potent. 494 

110. .( y^i,. . •Ij-^'t %) And establish prayer and give the poor-rate, 495 
and whatever of good 496 you send forth for your souls you shall find with Allah; 
surely Allah is Beholder of what you do. 

111. (^±*. . .Ijjtf A And they 497 say : ' none shall enter this Garden 
except he be a Jew 498 or a Christian. 499 Such are their vain desires. Say thou : so ° 
forth with your proof if you are truthful. 

112. (^jiaaj. •.Jj) Aye ! whoso submits himself 501 to Allah and he 
is a good-doer, his wage is with his Lord. No fear shall come on them nor 
shall they grieve. 602 

485. (O Jews!). 

486. (with opposition and obstruction as your objective). 

487. i.e., 'Messenger who is in your time/ (Th) 'The Jews would have 
nothing to say to Islam : they set themselves instead to oppose it. to ridicule it, and 
vex its Preacher in every way that their notorious ingenuity could device/ (LSK. 
Intro, p. LXI) 

488. t. e.y harassed with frivolous questions, contentious quibbles, and 
impertinent demands. 

489,. (O Muslims!). 

490. t. e.y the envy raging in their hearts. Cf. the OT and the NT: — 
'They envied Moses also in the camp, and Aaron the saint of the Lord/ (Ps. 106 : 
16) ; 'The Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain 

II. Surat-ul Baqarah 73 

lewd fellows of baser sort/ (Ac. 17:5) 'When the Jews saw the multitudes they 
were filled with envy/ (13 : 35) 

491 . This is to emphasize that it was nothing but sheer preversity and malice 
that prompted and moved the Jews to disobedience and rebellion. 

492. (O Muslims land do not think of reprisals). To be roused to right- 
eous indignation and retaliation was, on such an occasion, only too natural. But 
the Muslims are asked, for the time being, to forbear and not to take immediate 

493. (to fight and retaliate). This foreshadowed that reprisals were about 
to be commenced. 

494. (so He can soon put the harassed and oppressed Muslims in a position 
of power and command). 

495. The word may perhaps be better rendered as 'alms-tax' since it is 
essentially a State-tax to be paid by every well-to-do Muslim on his monetary 
capital/ livestock and garden or orchard produce. 'This annual payment also 
impresses upon the believers a sense of corporate unity and the duty of sharing in 
the common burdens/ (Arnold, Islamic Faith, p. 39). 

* 496, (whether it be prayer, or almsgiving, or Jihad or any other act of 
merit) . 

497. i. e., the people of the Book : the Jews and the Christians. 

498. This, according to the Jews. 'Salvation is of the Jews/ (Jn. 4; 52) 
'Mankind might all enjoy the divine favour, and yet this favour might still be 
strictly limited to Jews by the simple condition that mankind must become Jew, 
must receive circumcision, the physical'token of Judaism, and adopt its social and 
religious customs/ (EBI. c. 1685) 

- 499. This, according to the Christians. 'Unless a man be born again of 
water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God/ (Jn. 3:5. 
DV.) 'I am the door : by me if any man enters in, he shall be saved, and shall 
go in and go out, and find pasture. (Jn. 10:9) 'Neither is there salvation in 
any other : for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby 
we must^e saved/ (Ac. 4:12DV.) 

500. (O Prophet!). ' . 

501. (heart and soul). Literally ^ is 'his face' or 'his countenance/ 

502. (in the Hereafter). 

74 Part II 

*ij33f-- . £T» 


1 13? ( . Julxcko. . a^JU 5 ) And the J6vis say : the Christians are not 
grounded on aught ; 503 and the Christians say : the Jews are not grounded on 
aught; 504 while they 505 recite the same Book. 506 Even so they who do not 
know 607 say the like of their saying. Alfah will judge 508 between them 509 on the 
bay of Judgment regarding what they have been differing in. 

114. (ftfa*m . .,♦*♦ *) And who is more ungodly than he who prevents 510 
the mosques of Allah 511 from His name being mentioned 512 in them and strives 
after their ruin ? Those ! it is not for them 513 to enter them except in fear, 514 To 
them shall conrie humiliation in (this) world, 515 and to them in the Hereafter shall 
come a torment mighty. 

115. ( ( ^ii. . tJJ «) And Allah's is^the east 516 and the west ; 517 so wither 
you turn 518 there is the Face of Allah ; 519 surely Allah is Pervading, 520 Knowing. 521 

116. ( .- jo3.-.'. .Utf «) And they 522 say : God has betaken unto Him a 
son. 523 Hallowed be He ! 524 Aye ! His is whatever is in the heavens and in the 
earth ; 525 all are unto Him subservient 526 — 

503. vi. e. ? . have nothing to stand upon. The Jews 'had no reason to love 
the Christian, or to s&y any good of them. The coming of Christ into the world had 
perhaps brought blessing to the Gentiles ; but to Israel it was the herald of suffer- 
ing . . . He was remembered, so far as He was remembered at all, as the man who 
had chiefly brought dissension to Israel and the nearest approach to a defined 
opinion about Him in the Talmud is the statement that "he practised magic and 
deceived and led astray Israel." Round that statement there gradually gathered 
stray bits of gossip about Him, coarse allusions to His birth, reminiscences of His 
trial, and the like/ (ERE. VII. p. 551) 

504; i. *., have no foundation for their belief. 'The relations between 
Judaism and Christianity have seldom been friendly. The early Church soon 
discarded its Jewish element ; and, in the centuries during which Christianity had 

//. Surat-ul-Baqarah 75 

the power to persecute, the Jewish people were thought of not as the natural kindred 
of Jesus but as those w^ho had rejected and killed Him. There was seldom a good 
word for the Jews/ (ERE. VII. p. 551), 'The Jewish apostates, from Saul who 
became Paul, have been a source of profound trouble of Jewry. Many became 
informers, blackmailers, defamers of Jews and Judaism, relentless enemies, who by 
their machinations and falsifications caused countless massacres, burning of Jews and 
of Jewish books, exile and other misfortunes/ (VJE, p. 45) 

505. i. e., both the Jews and Christians. 

506. _ (equally acknowledged by both to be divine). -The fact that both 
sides appealed to the same source of authority— served also to narrow and intensify 
the struggle/ ( JE. IL 9) 'The new religion . .. asserted that it had been founded 
to fulfil the mission of Judaism, and endeavoured to prove the correctness of this 
allegation, from the Bible, the very book upon which Judaism is founded/ 
(X. p. 103) 

507 . i. e., to the pagan Arabs who have no knowledge of revealed religion. 
50b. (in a practical and demonstrable way). So far as arguments are 

concerned, He has already delivered His judgment in this world. 

509. L e., all the contending parties. 

510. (like the idolaters of Makka). 

511. Mosques, to quote a Christian observer, are 'houses of prayer, of 
extreme outer dignity and of puritanic austerity within, dedicated to the worship of 
the One God, who was acclaimed alike by Moses, by Christ, and by Muhammad. 
His prophets, all/ (Katherine Mayo, Face of Mother India, p. 43) Literally, a 
mosque is 'a place where one prostrates oneself/ 

512. (and his worship being offered). 

513. i, *., such ungodly persons. 

514. (and awe of the Muslims). 

515. A prophecy that found its literal fulfilment in the utter rout of the 
powerful pagans and complete annihilation of the deep-rooted paganism in Arabia 
within a few brief years. 

516. To which direction the Christians, in common with the sun-worship- 
pers and many other polytheists, attach special sanctity. 'From very early times 
and in more than one ethnic religion, the direction toward which the worshipper 
made his prayer was considered of great importance . . ...The Essenes prayed in the 
direction of the rising sun and the Syrian Christians also turned eastward at prayer. 
The Zoroastrians attached great importance to the points of the compass in their 
ritual of purification or prayer and in the building of the fire- temples, the 
Bareshnum, and the towers of silence . ... . In the Anglican Church the import and 
importance of the eastward position is still a matter of grave discussion/ The 
Moslem World, New York, January, 1937, p. 13) 

517. Which on the analogy of sunset, signifies to many superstitious nations, 

76 Part II 

— — y— — — — ' ■— — ■ — ■—— — ■■— — *— ■ — — — — ——■—■—■—■————■ i — — — 

the region of death. (PC. -It. p. 422) To the Christians again the west is full of 
meaning. 'In the rite of baptism ... .the catechumen was placed with face 
toward the west and then commanded to announce with gestures of abhorrence, 
stretching out his hands against hirir thrice/ (p. 428) Says a renowned and ancient 
Christian Father :— 'And why did ye stand toward the west? It was needful for 
sunset is the type of darkness and he is darkness and has his strength in darkness; 
therefore symbolically looking toward the west ye renounce that dark and gloomy 
ruler/ (ib) 

518. (irrespective of the points of the compass, O Muslims !). 

519. &xtf &^t literally 'face or countenance'' of Allah, signifies His presence. 
He is not located in any particular direction. He is everywhere and on every side, 
equally. This completely repudiates the pagan and the Christian practice of 
"orientation." 'Many Greek temples were also designed to face the rising sun. 
In the earliest Christian basilicas at Rome the apse was placed at the west end, so 
that the priest who served the altar from behind; facing the congregation, himself 
faced the east and the rising sun . . /. It is more probable that his orientation was 
due to an underlying tradition whose roots go far back beyond the origin of 
Christianity/ (EBr. XVI, p. 899) 'Orientation in ritual observance is perhaps most 
pronounced in Asia, which may be more or less indirectly the source from which 
the European observance is derived. (ERE. X. p. 85) 

520. i. e., He pervades and encompasses all directions, and is not condi- 
tioned or encompassed by them. The epithet emphasizes God's all-pervading 
presence as well as intimate relation to His creatures. 

521. (so that He knows best which direction or place to appoint for -Qibla). 

522. i. e., misguided people such as the Christians. 

523. (and who is himself a God). According to the Christians, God 'the 
Son is the second Person of the Blessed Trinity. He is the only begotten and 
eternal Son of the Father. He is consubstantial with the Father/ (CD. p. 912) 
The first two articles of the Apostle's creed run :— 'I believe in God, the Father 
Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our 
Lord/ The form of the words ^j ^dxj[ 'hath taken unto him' suggests that the 
reference is, in particular, to the 'Adoptionist' Christianity which held that Christ 
as Man was only the adoptive Son of God/ (CD. p. 13) The Adoptionists hold 
'that Christ was a mere man, miraculously conceived indeed, but adopted as the 
Son of God only by the supreme degree in which he had been filled with the divine 
wisdom and power/ (UHW. IV. p. 2331) They asserted that 'Jesus was a man 
imbued with the Holy Spirit's inspiration from his baptism and so attaining such a 
perfection of holiness that he was adopted by God and exalted to Divine dignity.' 
(EBr. I. p. 177) 

524. (from all these derogatory limitations!). An exclamation of protest 
against the degarding implications of the doctrine of 'Sonship.' 

525. f. e., all His creatures, high and low. He is the Creator of all that 
exists; its sole 'Maker and Master. That alone describes the correct relationship 
between Him and the world. To ascribe to Him the grossly materialistic relation- 
ship of fatherhood and sonship, in however etherealised a form, is the height of 

526. (by their very make, whether they will or not). 

II. Surat-ul-Baqarah 11 


; 4#J^ afevjli u^7i$w &£t c^i > ^'^ & i*& (Si # ^ 


117 - (.v^3. . • c *^) The Originator 527 of the heavens and the earth 
and whenever He decrees an affair, He merely, says to if 529 'be' : 530 and it 
becomes. 531 

118. (h^^« • -JU )) And those who do not know 532 say : why does 
not God speak to us direct* 22 or why does not a sign of o ur choice come to 
us,? 534 Thus have said those before them, 535 the like of their saying; 536 similar 
are their hearts. 537 We have already manifested signs 538 to the people who 
would be convinced. 539 

119. LasisJl. . .Ut) Surely We have sent thee 540 with the truth 541 as a 
bearer of glad tidings 542 and a warner, 543 and thou i^shalt not be questioned about 
inmates of the Flame. 544 

120. tyx«aj. . .J 5 ) And the Jews will never be pleased with thee, 545 
nor the Christians, 546 unless thou follow their faith. 547 Say thou : surely the 
guidance of Allah, 548 that is the true guidance. And wast thou to follow their 
desires after what has come to thee of the knowledge, 549 there will be for thee 
neither a protector nor a helper 550 against Allah.. 

121 . / '^jj-MflbjL . '.^oJt) Those to whom We have given the Book and 
who recite it as it ought to be recited, 551 they shall believe in it : 55a and those 
who disbelieve in it, those alone shall be the losers. 

527. -j&j * 1S tne Originator of the creation, according to His own will, not 
after the similitude of anything pre-existing/ (LL) He is thus the absolute Author, — 
not a mere manufacturer or designer as conceived by several pagan peoples — 
Independent of any and every material or pattern. Even the Jews, under the 
influence of Alexandrian philosophy and swayed by Platonic and Nepplatonic ideas, 
had come ta regard the act of creation as carried into effect through intermediate 
agencies, 'sub-deities, as it were, with independent existence and a will of their 
own/ (JE. IV. p. 338) 

528. (and all else) . This implies the idea of Priority. If He is the Originator 
of all, He must also be prior to all. He must be thought of as before every thing. 

78 Part I 

529. i.e., the thing proposed, and as yet non-existent except in His 
knowledge. ^ 

530. L'e., come into being. There is nothing either of matter or of soul 
co-eternal with Him or having any independent self-existence. Everything comes 
into being only when He wills. 

531. (by a single act of His all-ppwerful will without needing any material 
or helper). 

532. t. *., the pagans of Arabia who had no revealed religion. 

533. i. *., why are we not the recipients of His revelations ? 

534. (of our choice; such as we desire and demand). %Jj is here a wonder, 
an event striking and unusual, evincing direct Divine intervention on behalf of 
the Prophet, who of course ranked the purity of his life and the excellence of his 
message far above those 'wonders' which can* have at times only a thaumaturgic 

535. (to the prophets of their times) . 

536. Cf. NT:— 'Philip saith unto him, Lord ! show us the Father, and it 
suffice th us.' (Jn. 14:8) * The Pharisees also with the Sadducees cam?, and 
tempting desired him that he would show them a sign from heaven/ (Mt. 16 : 1) 

537. (in moral blindness). Cf. the NT :— A wicked and adulterous genera- 
tion seeketh after a sign ; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of 
the Prophet Jonah. And he* left them, and departed/ (Mt. 16:4) 'Ye stiffnecked 
and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your 
fathers did, so do ye/ (Ac. 7:51) 

538. Not a solitary sign (in the singular), but many and varied signs (in 
the plural). A 'sign' is anything that goes to confirm and substantiate the claims of 
the prophet. Thus 'signs' include facts, arguments, miracles, verification of 
previous prophecies and the excellence of teachings. 

539. i. e. y only they can benefit by the manifest signs who are earnest in 
their search after truth, and not they who are blinded by malice or spite. To those 
addicted to doubt and scepticism all signs and 'wonders' are useless. 

540. (O Prophet!). 

541. (to be preached to mankind). 

542. (to the believers). 

543. (to the rejecters). 

544. (so do not grieve over their fate or their doings). The holy Prophet 
in the tenderness of his heart was exceedingly solicitous for the unbelievers. He is 
told now that his responsibility as a Prophet ended with his preaching the true 
doctrines and expounding the Message. Everyone was accountable for his own 
actions. Why should the Prophet burden his heart with anxiety on their account .? 

545. (however great may be thy concessions to them). 

546. (however tender thou mayest be to them). 

II. Surat-ul Baqarah 79 

547. (and renounce thy own faith, true and divine). 

548. (and not your own concoctions). 

549. 'The knowledge' here signifies Divine Revelation, which is the highest 
and surest of knowledge above all doubt. 

550. The argument addressed to the Prophet in effect is this : — You cannot 
by any means win the support and goodwill of the Christians and the Jews, since it 
is dependent on your accepting and adopting their religions which, as they exist, are 
untrue and unsubstantial to the core. But your acceptance of such untruths is 
impossible, since it involves your being accursed of God, which you most emphati- 
cally are not. Your enjoyment of the highest Divine blessings and favours is self- 
evident ; hence your deviation from the right course is an absurdity. 

551. t. e., with the reverent spirit and with open and unbiased mind. * 

552. i. e., in the Qur'an, or the true religion, in due course of time. The 
pronoun in <o has for its antecedent mJIj in verse 119, and thus refers to the 
Qur'an (Th) 

80 part ' 


122. r^JUJU... ,a*j) Children of IsraTl ! remember My favour with 
which I favoured,? 68 and that I preferred you above the worlds. 554 

123. (^ 5r tfjb. . •(jftlj) And fear a pay when not in aught will a soul 
satisfy for a^or/raz- sou,l 656 nor will compensation be accepted for it nor will inter- 
cession profit it nor will they be helped. 

124. ( *JlWl. . .it A And re-call when his Lord tried IbrShfm 666 with 
commands; 557 then he fulfilled them. 568 ' Allah said : 'surely I am going to 
make thee a leader of mankind', 669 Ibrahim™ said, and from my progeny too'. 
Allah said : 'My promise 661 shall hot reach the ungodly'. 562 

125. (^jssfcJl. ■'. .j»i 5 ) And re-call when We appointed the House 663 a 
resort 564 to mankind 565 and a place of security, 566 and said : 567 'take the station 
of Ibrahim 568 for a place of prayer. 569 And We covenanted with Ibrahim and 
IsmS'il 570 saying : 'purify you twain My House 571 for those who will circumam- 
bulate ft and those who will stay 572 and those who will bow down and prostrate 

553. See nn. 174, 197 above. 

554. See n. 198 ff. above. The preference, the 'election/ the chief glory of 
Israel, lay in their being the standard-bearers, in all antiquity, of pure monotheism. 
At the close of the recapitulation of their history, they are fittingly once more 
reminded of the secret of their past glory and eminence. 

555. See n. 201 ff. above. 

556. (to demonstrate to the world his absolute devotion to Him). Abraham 
of the feible, the great prophet and patriarch, first of Chaldea and latterly of Syria, 
Palestine and Arabia, was the common progenitor of the Arabs and the Israelites. 
The name is personal, not tribal, and the personality is real and historical — a 
character singularly majestic and attractive, — not an ethnological myth. Referring 
to the patriarchs, Abraham and other founders of the Hebrew race and nation, 
says a modern authority :— 'The modern critical theory that these fathers of the 

//.- Surat-ul-Baqarah . 81 

Hebrews are mythical, representing either personified tribes or Canaanite deities 
has been disproved by recent archaeological discoveries/ (VJE. p. 505) His dates of 
birth and death are, according to the latest computation by Sir Charles Klarston, 
2160 B. C, and 1985 B.C. respectively. Age, according to the Bible, was 175 
years. (Ge.25:7) 

557. (of mandate and prohibition) . 

558. (demonstrating his devotion of God). 

559. (in. faith; and a models a pattern, in true religion and piety). And a 
leader of mankind in this sense he continues to be till this very day, being the 
accepted head of the three great peoples of the world— the Muslims, the Christians 
and the Jews. 'He is not, in the first instance, the progenitor of the people but the 
founder and leader of a religious movement. Like Mohammad, some 2,000 years 
later, he stood at the head of a great movement among the Semitic peoples and 
tribes/ (EBr. I p,- 60) Cf. the OT :— 

'Now the Lord had said unto Abram ...... I will make of thee a great 

nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great ; and thou shalt be a blessing: 
and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curseth thee : and in thee 
shall all families of the earth be blessed/ (Ge. 12 : 1-3) 'Abraham shall surely become 
a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him/ 
(18: 18). 

560. i. e., begged; asked prayerfully. * 

561. (to bless thee and thy progeny). . 

562. L e. 3 My promise extends to only such of your offspring as shall be 
believers ; it does not comprehend the unbelievers. The heirs of the promise must 
earn it. 'In the history of his descendants there were many backslidings into idol- 
worship ....... yet there was always a remnant that kept to the straight path/ 

(Woolley, Abraham, p. 290). 

563. (at Makka), i. e., the Ka'ba. 'A shrine of immemorial antiquity, one 
which Diodorous Siculus, a hundred years before the Christian era, tells us, was even 
then "most ancient, and most exceedingly revered by the whole Arab race/* 
(Bosworth Smith, Mohammed and Mohammedanism , p. 166). 

564. (and a sanctuary). 

565. Imagine the number of the pilgrims that have been visiting the House 
in a reverential spirit, for all these hundreds and thousands of years since the time 
of Abraham ! 

566. c At all events, lon£ before Mohammed we find Mecca established in 
the twofold quality of a commercial centre and a privileged holy place, surrounded 
by an inviolable territory/ (EBr. XV. p. 150) 

567. (to the Muslim commuuity). This refers to a much later period of 
history. The Holy Qin/an, as already noted, is not an essay in chronology. At 
times it relates in a single sentence, for some special purpose in view, incidents 

82 Part I 

separated from each other by centuries. 

568. i. *., the spot where he stood to pray. A small cupola supported on 
iron pillars opposite the silver door of the Ka'ba still marks the spot. 

569. (O Muslims!). A short prayer of two Rak'ats is still performed at the 
spot after the ceremony of circumambulating the House is over. 

570. The first-born of Abraham and the progenitor of the Arab race. 
(Probable date 2074—1937 B. C.) Note that the Divine promise is given not to 
Abraham alone, but to Isma'll as well ; and this finds fuil confirmation in the OT : — 
'And Abraham said unto God : O that Ishmael might live before thee f And God 
said :.. . : . ... As for Ishmael, I have heard thee : Behold ! I have blessed him, and 
will make him fruitful . . ... twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a 
great nation/ (Ge. 17 : 18-20) 'And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel 
of God called to Hagar out of Heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar ? 
fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the 
lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation ..... And 
God was with the lad ; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness/ (21 : 17-21) 

571. (of idols and impurities and what does not become it). 'Ishmael was 
looked upon as rejected and the covenant 'made with the children of his half-brother, 
Isaac (the 'Israelites). Yet it was that rejected stone, the black stone that became 
the bedstone of the Ka'ba, the place where Hagar and Ishmael were cast out/ 
(Lady Cobbold, Pilgrimage to Mecca, pp. 133-134). 

572. (in that Holy City or in that Holy Mosque for devotional purposes). 

//. Surat-vl B-aqarah 83 

>ugr ; . . _&L 

U&W& &!&e*£\ Pi, 5 ^ y& X±g£^HbS ki^U 

126. (ouaJt. .'.iS! .) And recall when Ibrahim said : 'my Lord ! make 
this city a place of security 573 , and provide its inhabitants with fruits 574 — such of 
them as will believe in Allah and the Last Day 575 . Allah said : 'and whoso will 
disbelieve, him also I shall give enjoyment for a while 576 ; and then I shall drive 
him to the torment of the Fire, an ill-abode'. 

127. (*^Jf. .vi! .) And recall when Ibrahim i was raising 577 the founda- 
tions of the House, 578 and Isma'Tl also 579 praying : 'Our Lord ! accept from us,? 8 . , 
surely Thou alone art the Hearer, 581 the Knower ! 582 

128. (aj^jL . AX>)) O ur Lord ! make us twain submissive 583 to Thee, 
and of our progeny 584 a community submissive 585 to Thee, 586 and show us our 
rites, 587 and relent toward us 588 Surely Thou alone art Relenting, Merciful. 

129. (.*aXaoJt.'. .U>)) Qw Lord ! raise up for them a Messenger 589 from 
among them, 590 who will recite to them Thy revelations 591 and will teach them the 
Book and wisdom, 592 and will cleanse them. 503 Surely Thou alone art Mighty, 694 
Wise !' 595 


130. ( , ^saJLaJ!.. . ^w* .) And who shall be averse from the faith of 
Ibrahim save one who befools himself I And assuredly We chose him 596 in this 
world, 597 and surely he in the Hereafter shall be .among the righteous. 598 

131. f^JUM. '. .<il) Recall when his Lord said unto him : 'submit', he 
said : 'I submit to the Lord of the worlds'. 599 

_ : : g : _ 

573. The prayer was granted in full. Hence in the law of Islam it is 
forbidden, within the sacred precincts, to shed any human blood and to hunt or 
shoot any game, as also to cut or pull out plants. See nn. 563, 566 above. 

574. To realize in full the significance of this part of the prayer it is neces- 
sary to remember that the territory of Makka was, and is largely even now, almost 
a desert uncultivated and incapable of bearing fruits or vegetation. The barren and 
unpromising land is thus described by Muir : — 'The general features or rugged 

84 Part i 

rocks without a trace of foliage, and sandy, stormy glens from which the peasant 
looks in vain for the grateful returns of tillage. Even at the present day . . . .. . 

Mecca can hardly boast a garden or cultivated field, and only here and there a tree/ 
{Life of Mohammad, p. 2) 

575. Abraham (peace be on him !) thus qualified his prayer this time in 
view of verse 124, which affirmed that the Divine covenant did not extend to the 

576. i. e. 9 while he is yet alive. Such is the grace of the Lord on this Holy 
City and its inhabitants. Even the rebels among them are dealt with most merci- 
fully while yet in this world. 

577. Note that Abraham was 'raising/ not 'laying/ the foundation. The 
House existed long long before — since the time of Adam, according to traditions- 
Abraham and Isma'il only rebuilt it on the old foundations. "The traditions of the 
Ka'ba ran back to Tshmael and Abraham, nay, even to Seth and Adam; and as 
its very name, "Beit Allah" shows, it might in its first rude shape have been erected 
by some such ancient patriarch as he who raised a pillar of rough stone where in 
his sleep he had seen the angels ascending:, and descending, and called it "Bethel" or 
'^Beit Allah," (Bosworth Smith, Mohammed and Mohammedanism, p. 166). 

578. *. *., the Ka'ba in the city of Makka. 'A very high antiquity must be 

assigned to the main features of the religion of Mecca Tradition represents 

the Ka'ba as from time immemorial the scene of pilgrimage from all quarters of 
Arabia .. . . . . .So extensive a homage must have had its beginnings in an extremely 

remote age/ (Muir, Life of Mohammad, Intro, pp. cH-cui). 'The temple of Mecca 
was a place of worship and in singular veneration with the Arabs from great anti- 
quity and many centuries before Mohammad/ (SPD. p. 182). 

579. In Islam of course a true and honoured prophet of God like his father 
Abraham (peace be on both !) But even according to the Jews, his worst slanderers, 
'He who sees Ishmael in a dream will have his prayer answered by God/ (JE. VI. 
p. 468). His mother Hajira (Hagar), a princess of royal blood, a daughter of the 
reigning Pharaoh of Egypt, was an embodiment of piety arid virlue. . Cffafeve the 
unwilling admissions of the Jews : — 'Hagar is held up as an example of the high 

degree of godliness prevalent in Abraham's time, for Hagar was not 

frightened by the sight of the Divine messenger. Her fidelity is praised for even 

after Abraham sent her away she kept the marriage vow Another explana-* 

tion of the same name is 'to adorn' because she was adorned with piety and good 
deeds. It was Isaac who, after the death of Sarah, went to bring back Hagar to 
the house of his father/ (p. 138) 'As a token of his love for Sarah the King deeded 
his entire property to her, and gave her [the land of Goshen as her hereditary 
possession . . ...» He gave her also his own daughter as slave 5 . (XL p. 55). 

580. (this building as a humble token of submission on our part). Remark- 
able is the note of true humility ringing in the prayer of the two great prophets 

//. Surat-ul-Baqarah 85 


581. (of our words and utterances). 

582. (of our inmost feelings, and of the purity of our motives) . 

583* (yet more). 'Submissive/ for 'Muslims' they already were, hence the 
necessity of rendering ^JU^'by.-'yfet' more submissive/ 'Islam' is absolute 
surrender to the Divine Will. 

584. Note the word 'our'. 'Our progeny' is obviously the progeny of 
Abraham through Isma'il. Compare the saying of Jesus (on whom be peace !) as 
recorded in the 'Gospel of Barnabas' : — 'Believe me, for verily I say to you, that 
the promise was made in Ishmael, not in Isaac.' (GB. p. 103). 'The promise was 
made in Ishmael and not in Isaac.' (p. 331). 

585. £«JUa* l*\ 1S literally 'Muslim community.' 'Islam', says one of its 
worst modern detractors and a Jew 'began with Ishmael, the father of the Arabs.' 
(Torry , Jewish Foundation of Islam, p. , vi) . 

586. A Muslim and submissive nation, thus, was to be raised from the 
Ismailites, i. e., the Arabs, and not from their cousins, the Israelites. Compare, 
again, the words of Jesus (on whom be peace !) : — 'Verily, I say the son of Abraham 
was Ishmael, from whom must be descended the Messiah promised to Abraham, 
that in him should all the tribes of the earth be blessed.' (GB. p. 459). 

587. t. e. y our ways of devotion, and ordinances of pilgrimage and worship. 
^aaJlxJLutjv* c are the religious rites and ceremonies of the pilgrimage.' (LL) 

588. (in forgiveness, grace and mercy). 

589. Significant is the singular number of jL^ *. e., 'a' messenger. The 
blessed prophets are praying for the advent of 'a' messenger and not for messengers 
(in the plural) from among their descendants. Hence the historical fact of there 
appearing only one prophet among the Ismailites. 

590. Mark the very clear reference in the OT reiterated in the NT. to the 
advent of a prophet from among their brethren of Israel, t. e., the Ismaelites. 'I 
will raise up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee.' (Dt. 18: 18) 
Moses truly said unto the fathers : A prophet shall the Lord, your God, raise up 
unto you of your brethren, like unto me.' (Ac. 3 : 22). 

591. (exactly as he receives them). 

59*2. (by his own precepts and example). ^/^ primarily is what prevents, 
or restrains, from 'ignorant behaviour,' but is usually used in the sense of 'wisdom.' 
It also means 'knowledge in matters of religion, and the acting agreeably therewith ; 
and understanding !' (LL), 

593. (of sin and unbelief). The mission of this Ismailite prophet of God 
was thus to be fourfold :— 

(a) He will recite and deliver to his people the revelation exactly as he 
receives them, and will, in this sense, be a trusted Divine 

86 Part I 

(b) He will not only transmit the Message but wilL also expound, 

interpret and illustrate the Teaching he is commanded to 
impart, and would, in this phase of his life, be a Divine Teacher. 

(c) Besides explaining to the many the injunctions of the Divine law, 

he will also unravel to the elect of his people the deeper signifi- 
cance of the Divine wisdom, and will initiate them in the 
profundities of spirit and the subtleties of soul. He will, on 
this account, be known as an exponent of Divine Wisdom. 

(d) He will, by his words and deeds, precept arid practice, raise and 

uplift the moral tone of his people, will purge them of vice and 

immorality, and will make them pious and godly. He will in 

this capacity be called a Divine Reformer and Law-giver. 

He will thus be a representative of -God with men, and will be endowed with a 

personality of his own — a personality so full of wonderful achievements in this 

respect, as to wrest even from unfriendly observers, the appellation of 'that most 

successful of all prophets and religious personalities/ (EBr. XV. 1.1th Ed. p. 898). 

594. i. e. } Able to grant every prayer. 

595." i. e., Granting only such prayers as are, in His infinite Wisdom, proper. 

596. (on that very score ; as the reward for his true monotheism). 'Fear not, 
Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward/ (Ge. 15: I). 'And he 
believed in the Lord ; and he counted it to him for righteousness/ (15 : 6) ; Abraham 
believed God, and itjaras counted unto him for righteousness/ (Ro. 4 : 3) : 'Even 
as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness/ 

597. (as our apostle arid the leader of religion) : 

598. (for whom are the highest of ranks and the biggest of rewards). 

599. (with my heart and soul). 

II. Surat-ul-Baqarah 87 

r W : " ._ 5J\ 

1 32 (^.JU*. • \y*) 5) Anc * ^rHhlm enjoined the same 600 to his sons and 
so did Yaqub 601 also saying : '0 my sons : surely Allah has chosen for you the 
religion; 602 so die not except you are Muslims'. 603 

133. '"(^jju*. . \4jyi J) Were you 604 witnesses when death presented 
itself to Ya'qub ^a?c/ when he said to his sons : what will you worship after 
me?' 605 They said : 'we shall worship thy God, 606 the God of thy fathers, Ibrahim 
ancflsma'il and Is'haq 607 the one and only God, and to Him we are submissive. 608 

134, (&£+***• • • t -& J ) T ^ ey are a community who have passed away ; 609 
to them shall be what they earned, 610 and to you what you earn 611 ; and you 612 
shall not be questioned as to what they were wont to work. 613 

135 " (c^>AJ'- • -tyl* j) And the y 614 sa V : become Jews or Christians; 
and you shall be guided. 615 Say thou 616 : 'Aye ! we follow the faith of IbrHhTm, 617 
the upright, 618 and he was hot of the polytheists'. 619 

600. (faith and religion). 'He ordered all his children and grandchildren to 
avoid magic, idolatry, and all kinds of impurity, and to walk in the path of right- 
eousness/ ( JE. I. 87) 

6Q1. Jacob of the Bible; of Israel (on him be peace! ) a Prophet of God 
and a grandson of Abraham. 

602. (of monotheism). 'So far as the Hebrews are concerned, or rather 
their forbears, the Semites, it is not necessary to "assume*' anything since the 
evidence of the ancient cuneiform writing . . . testifies to the fact that Monotheism 
was also their original religion/ (Marston, The Bible is True, p. 25) 

603. Or, -'those who submit/ Islam, in its essence, is thus not a new reli- 
gion at all but a continuation and restoration of the old religion of Abraham, 
Jacob, and other prophets of old. 

604. (O Jews and Christians! who wrangle with the Muslims concerning 
their faith). 

605. 'Jacob gave three commandments to his children before his death : 
(1) that they should not worship idols; (2) that they should not blaspheme the 

88 'Part./ 

name of God; and (3) that they should not let a pagan touch his hearse/ (JE. 
VII. p. 24) 

606. 'He said to them, . . . . I fear now that among you, too, there is one 
that harbours the intention to serve idols. 'The twelve men spake and said : Hear, 

Israel our Father, the Eternal, our God is the One Only God. As thy heart is 
one and united in avouching the Holy One, blessed be He, to be thy God, as also 
are our hearts one and united in avouching Him/ (Ginzberg, Legends of the Jews II. 
p. HI) 

607. Isaac of the Bible. The second son of Abraham. Born in 2060 B.C. 
Died in 1880 B.C. 'At the beginning he is simply 'the God of Abraham/ and as 
the generations pass, he becomes known "the God of Abraham, of Isaac and of 
Jacob," (Woolley, Abraham, p. 235) 

608. (In the faith of Islam). The basic, cardinal doctrine of Islam is none 
other than the unity of God, proclaimed and preached by all the prophets of old, 
only restated, reinstated, and restored, not originated by the holy Prophet of Islam 
(peace be on him !) Cf. the OT : — 'And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, 

1 am the Lord : and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the 
name of God Almighty/ (Ex. 6 : 2-3). 

609. (and they can be of no help to their living descendants in the way of 
either rewarding virtue or punishing vice) 

610. (by their righteousness and virtue) . 

611. (by your misdeeds). The Jews presumed too much on their ancestral 
merit, and stood badly in need of a powerful reminder. Their most striking 
tendency was "to fall back upon national privilege as a substitute for real reforma- 
tion of life. We can see alike from the Gospels and from St. Paul how constantly 
the Jews had upon their lips, 'We ha,ve Abraham as our father." (DB. II. p. 606) 

. 612. (O Jews !). The Jews in contrast to the Christian concept of 'original 
sin' had coined a new term 'original virtue/ 'The doctrine asserts that God visits 
the virtues of the father upon the children for His Name's sake and as a mark of 
grace/ (JE, XII. p. 441) 

613. Compare and contrast the Jewish doctrine :— 'Grace is given to some 
because of the merits of their ancestors, to others because of the merits of their 
descendants/ (JE. VI. p. 60). 'The hopes of the individual Jew were based on 
the piety of holy ancestors : "We have Abraham as our father/' (EBr. XIII. 
11th Ed., p. 184) 'In the Jewish scheme of salvation, the excellences of the three 
patriarchs (those of the matriarchs also, though this idea is far less emphasised), and 
indeed of all the righteous Israelites of the past are supposed to be thrown into a 
common stock for the benefit of their people, collectively and individually, in every 
age. The salvation which the Jew might possibly not attain in virtue of his own 
life may be assured to him by the merit of the righteous dead. Even as a living 
wine is supported by a lifeless prop, and is thereby kept verdant and flourishing, so 

//. Surat-ul-Baqarah 89 

the living Israel is upheld by the virtues of the fathers who sleep in the the dust/ 
(ERE. XI. p. 144) See also Barton, The Religion of Israel, p. 124, where it is 
distinctly stated that among* the Hebrews, it was the family or clan, and not the 
individual, that came to be regarded as the moral unit. 

614. i. e., the Jews and the Christians. 

615. (and thus saved). Seen. 547 ff. above. 

616. (to them, on behalf of the Muslims, O Prophet!). 

617. The Muslims alone are the faithful followers of Abraham, and Islam 
is, in its essential aspects, but a revival of the ancient faith of Abraham. 

618. 'He was a man of incomparable virtue, and honoured by God in a 
manner agreeable to his piety towards Him/ ("Ant." I. 17: 1) 'The distinctive 
features of his religious life ... were the devotion to One God, the abandonment 
of the polytheism of his ancestors, and the adoption of circumcision as the symbol of 
a pure cult/ (DB. I. p. 16} 'Abraham's religion was characterised by abstraction, 
and was" yet personal. The One Great God, throned in Heaven, honoured without 
priests and temple, the Almighty and all-comprehending One, to whom the faithful 
have personal access— this is Abraham's "God/' (EBr. I. p. 60) lJ^JLs^ literally is 
'Inclining to a right state of tendency. . . . and particularly inclining from any false 
religion, to the true religion/ (LL) 

619. 'He Was the first that ventured to publish this notion, that there was but 
one God, the Creator of the universe/ ("Ant." I. 7:1) 

90 Part I 

136. (. #jr JUv#. • •V**) Say ,620 'we believe in Allah and what has been 
sent down to us and what was sent down to IbrShim and IsmS'Jl and Is'hSq and 
Yaqub and the tribes 621 and what was given to Mus§ 622 and Isa, 623 and what 
was given to prophets 624 from their Lord ! we make no difference between any 
of them, 625 and to Him we are submissive'. 626 

137. (^xJ!. . ■•■•iti) So if they 627 believe in the like of what you believe 
in, surely they are guided ; but if they turn away, then they are but in schism. 628 
So Allah wilJ suffice thee 629 against them 630 ; and He is Hearer, 631 Knower. 632 

• 138 ' [&?***> ' «^'**^) Ours 633 is the dye of Allah 634 and who is better 
at dyeing than Allah? 636 And we are His worshippers. 636 

139. ( .^JLda^ . ,tt) Say thou 637 : do you contend with us regarding 
Allah ? 638 whereas He is our Lord even as He is your Lord. 639 And to us our 
works, and to you your works, and we are His devotees. 

140. ( .jJL*)'. . M f) 0r ' do y° u say 640 that Ibrahim and Ismg'il and Is'haq 
and YSqub and the tribes 641 were Jews or Christians ? 642 Say thou : are you 
the more knowing or is Allah? 643 And who is more unjust than he who conceals 
Allah's testimony 644 that is with him ? 645 And Allah is not unmindful of what 
you do. 646 

141 . ( JUju,. . .lJJS) They are a community who have passed away : to 
them shall be what they earned, and to you what you earn and you will not be 
questioned as to what they were wont to work. 647 

620. (O Muslims !) 

621. i.e., the twelve tribes of Israel who had their own prophets and 

622. The founder of Judaism as a creed. 

623. The founder of true Christianity. 

624. (in general). Observe once again that Islam is, in no sense, an inno- 
vation but a mere continuity of the faith of Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, 

If. Surat-ul-Baqarah 91 

Jesus and all other true prophets and apostles. 

625. (by believing in some and disbelieving in others). In this way is the 
fundamental unity of all the revealed religions emphasised, and reverence for their 
human founders inculcated. -** 

626. (as Muslims). 'The unity of God . . . and the unity of the religious, 
civil, judicial, and military administration, in one organ on earth, entitled the 
Mohammedans to assume, with justice, the name of Unitarians, a title in which they 
particularly glorified/ (Finlay, Greece under the Remans, p. 354) 

627. i, e., the .unbelievers in general and the Jews and the Christians in 

628. i. e., at great variance with, and far removed from truth. ■• 

629. (O Prophet!) 

630. i. e., against their mischief and violence. By 'them' are meant the 
enemies of Islam and the Prophet. 

631. (of their open avowal of hostility). 

632. (of their secret machinations). 

633. i. e., the Muslims/' 

634. i. e., the religion of Islam ; surrender to the Divine will. That is the 
true 'baptism of water/ 'The dye of Allah' is grace on His part and absolute 
surrender on ours. ^^ is also 'Religion' and ^JJi&L^? means the religion of 
God, . . . because its effect appears in him who has it like the dye in the garment ; 
or because it intermingles in the heart like the dye in the garment/ (LL) 

635. (so without true faith in Him and His apostles, the sacrament of 
baptism, of paramount importance both in Judaism and Christianity, is meaning- 
less). ■■■•'■■.*,.. 

636. (to the exclusion of all false deities, false doctrines, and false rites). 

637. (on behalf of the Muslims, O Prophet !) 

638. (O unbelieving Jews and Christians ! fondly imagining that He 
cannot have chosen a non-Jew and a non-Christian as His messenger). 

639. (so that He may choose as His messenger whomever He will). 

640. (O unbelieving Jews and Christians!) 

641. i. e. 9 the prophets among Jewish tribes. See n. 621, above. 

642. (and not strict monotheists) i. *., is it your position, O Jews and 
Christians ! that the prophets of old and the patriarchs belonged to the Jewish or 
Christian cults in contradistinction to the true monotheism of Islam ? 

643. (whose testimony is that they were monotheists, pure and simple, that 
is to say, true Muslims). 'The patriarchs acknowledged but one God, and to Him 
as invisible and supernal they offered sacrifices upon altars without image and with- 
out temples under the open sky/ (Ewald, History of Israel, p. 460). 

644. (of the true Islam of Abraham and all the prophets of Israel). 

645. (as given in His Scriptures). 

646. (O Jews and Christians!). So that a parrot-like repetition of the 
names of the patriarchs and other illustrious ancestors, without adopting the faith 
they had and without following their ways, would do no good. Not ancestral but 
individual merit to be counted upon. 

647. See n. 609 ff. above. 

92 Part f/ 




142. (^ax^* . .Jjaju.) Presently will the fools among the people 1 say 2 : 
what has turned them 3 away from this Qiblah 4 on which they had been 5 ? Say 
thou 6 : Allah's 7 is the east 8 and the west 9 ; He guides whom He will 10 to the 
straight path, 11 

143/ L^ v * .u:jU5 5 ) And thus 12 We have made you 13 a community 
justly— balanced, 14 that you might be witnesses 15 to mankind, 16 and that the 
messenger might be a witness 17 to you. And We did not appoint the Qiblah 18 
thou hast had 1 * save in order that We might know demonstrably him 20 who 
follows the messenger from him who turns back upon his heels. 21 And assuredly 
the change is grievous save to them whom Allah has guided. 22 And Allah is not 
to let your faith go wasted 28 ; surely Allah is to mankind Tender, Merciful. 24 

1. i. e.> those without a proper understanding of the religious truths. 
Special reference here is to the Jews and the Christians who took great offence at 
the Muslims* change of the direction of prayer from the Temple at Jerusalem to 
the Ka'ba in Makka. 

2. (in their great chagrin) 

3. i. *., the Muslims. 

4. £1*3 from the root J^j 'to be before* is the point in the direction of 
which acts of worship ought to be performed. Cf. Ps. 5 : 7, 1 Ki. 8 : 29, Dn. 12 :11, 
Jon. 2:4, where the Bible speaks of the Temple at Jerusalem as the place towards 
which worship is to be rendered. 

5. (So far), i. e'. 9 the Temple of Solomon at Jerusalem which was the first 
qiblah of Islam. Sixteen months after his arrival in Madina, the Prophet received 
the Divine command, as contained in the verse 144, to abandon Jerusalem for 

//. Surat-uhBaqarah 93 

Ka'ba in Makka. This intensely mortified the Jews who had hoped that the 
Prophet would continue praying towards their qiblah and now took it that the last 
link that bound Islam to Judaism was broken. 

6. (O Prophet ! to the objectors). 

7. (the absolute Master of all directions and their sole Author who has 
made no direction or point of the compass particularly sacrosanct). 

8. See P. I. nn. 516, 519. 

9. See P. Ln. 517. 

10. (in His infinite wisdom and in accordance with His universal. Plan). 

11. (by disposing his mind, as in this particular instance, to obey implicitly 
the Divine command) . 

12. i. e. y in a similar manner: not only in this particular respect, but in 
every other respect. 

13. (O Muslim Community!) J*^ also means, 'He exalted or ennobled/, 
So that phrase may also be rendered : 'We have exalted you, or ennobled you, as a 
nation conforming to the just mean ; or, just or equitable, or good/ (LL). 

14. I.KL '&,♦! are a people who have hit the golden mean; not inclined to 
either extreme; well-poised in every virtue. 'A nation conforming, or conformable, 
to the just mean ; just ; equitable'. (LL). 

15. (as testifiers, promulgators and carriers of the Divine truths). 

16. i. e. y the rest of mankind. The Muslims are the standard, the norm, by 
which all people are to be judged on the Day of Judgment. 

17. The Prophet J x s absolutely pure and perfect life will serve as the norm, 
the standard, by which the Muslims will be judged. 

18. Note, that for the Muslims what the doctrine of qiblah means is not a 
turning to a point of the compass, but to a definite place. 

19. (hitherto). Ka'ba as the permanent qiblafi of Islam always formed a 
part of the Divine decree, Jerusalem being only a temporary qiblah. 

20. i. e., bring him to light. 

21. This temporary appointment of Jerusalem as qiblah and then its aban- 
donment served as a crucial test. The true Muslims of course remained firm ; the 
waverers and vacillators retraced their steps to unbelief. The phrase ^^ JU ,J* 
signifies, 'He turned back, or receded from a thing to which he had betaken 
himself/ (LL). 

22. i. e. f those who are endowed with good sense and are not blinded by 
passion or prejudice. y 

23. i.e., He will not suffer it to go without its reward while you prayed 
towards Jerusalem. There was an apprehension among the Muslims that the 
devotions hitherto performed with faces towards Jerusalem might be wasted. Their 
doubts are set at rest and they are reassured. 

24. (So how can such a One allow the devotions of His devotees to go 
unrewarded ?). 

94 __ Part " 

1 44 / ..ju^ji. . #A j) Assuredly We have seen thee turning thy face 25 to the 
heaven; 26 so We shall surely cause thee to turn towards the Qiblah which will 
please thee. 27 Turn then thy face 28 towards the sacred Mosque ; 29 and turn, 30 
wherever you be, your faces towards it 31 And surely those who are given the 
Book know this to be the truth and from their Lord. 32 Allah is not unmindful of 
what they work. 33 

145. ( j.JUh'1. . -JiJ ,) And shouldst thou 34 bring to them who are given 
the Book every sign, they would not follow thy Qiblah 35 : neither art thou to be a 
follower of their Qiblah, 36 nor does one section of them follow the Qiblah of the 
other. 37 And shouldst thou 38 yield to their desires, 39 after what has come to thee 
of the true knowledge, 40 then surely thou wilt become one of the transgressors. 

1 46. (^j-Jjui. . v*^0 Those to whom We have 9 iven the Book 41 recog- 
nize him 42 even as they recognize their own children, 43 and surely a party of them 
hide the truth 44 while they know. 45 

147. (^\*j|. . . -sal)) The truth is from thy Lord ; cto not be thou then 
of the doubters. 46 

25. (O Prophet!) 

26. (looking up for a revelation). The Prophet intensely longed to have 
Ka'ba, the Sanctuary of Abraham, as the qiblah of his people, but of course was 
helpless in the absence of a clear Divine command to that effect. 

27. . i. e., Ka'ba. Here is the promise to appoint Ka'ba the qiblah of Islam. 

28. Here is the immediate fulfilment of the promise. 

29. (at Makka), i.e., Ka'ba. 

30. (O Muslims!). 

SI. (While praying, in whatsoever direction it might happen to be). 'A 
bird Veye view of the Moslem world at the hour of prayer would present the spec- 
tacle of a series of concentric circles of worshippers radiating from the Ka'ba at 
Makka and covering an ever-widening area from Sierra Leone to Canton and from 
Tobolsk to Cape Town/ (Hitti. op. cit. pp. 130-131). 

//. SDrat-uf-Baqarah 95 

32. The Jews had traditions, handed down from their fathers, purporting 
that the Final Prophet would have Ka'ba, the House consecrated by Abraham, ^ 
his qiblah. 

33. . (by way of their wilful suppression of truth). 

34. (O Prophet!). 

35. i.e., no amount of signs, wonders and arguments would induce the Jews 
and the Christians to follow the qiblah of the Muslims. 

36. i. *., thou hast a distinctive qiblah for thy own community. The Prophet 
'desired that the Muslims should have a qiblah of their own, which would symbolise 
their unity and their spiritual independence, from the ritual of non-Muslims. In 
fact, the subsequent command to Muslims to face in their prayers a central point 
common to them alone, has powerfully contributed to that distinctive feeling of 
unity which to this day, in spite of so many differences and sectarian dissensions, 
binds the Muslims together into one single ummah and makes them realise that they 
area group of their own, different from the rest of the world. It is impossible to 
over-estimate this feeling of unity. ' (ASB. I. p . 60). 

37. The people of the Book are themselves divided in this respect. The 
Jews turn towards Jerusalem, and the Christians towards the east. 

38. (O Prophet!) 

39. The very assumption involves a moral impossibility, and is contrary to 
the prophetic nature, and is therefore to be ruled out on the face of it. 

40. i. e., of Divine knowledge ; of Revelation and Prophecy. 

41. i. e. 9 the Jews. . 

42. (as the true Prophet of God, by the description of him given in their 

43. i. e., the prophets of their own race. The Jews are here charged with 
denying the Prophet after their recognizing him, on the strength of clear prophe- 
cies in their Books, as clearly as they recognized the prophets of Israel. The plural 
pronoun *a> in ^Ubl is used in the collective sense, meaning their race, not indivi- 
duals. 'There is no room to doubt\ says a Christian biographer of the Prophet, 'that 
a section of the Jews not only hinted, before the Prophet, but even affirmed that he 
was that Prophet whom the Lord their God should raise up unto them of their 
brethren/ (Muir, op. cit. p. 98). 

44. i. e. 9 the description of him in their books. 

45. i. e., their suppression of the truth is deliberate and intentional.. 

46. (O reader !). 

96 Part II 


148. (yj±3. . . UJ A- For every one is a goal whitherward he turns 47 ; so 
strive to be foremost in virtues. 48 Wherever you may be, Allah shall bring you 
all together ; 49 surely Allah is over everything Potent. 

1 49. (.. ^JL*;. . . ~* 5 ) And from whencesoever thou 50 goest forth, turn thy 
face towards the Sacred Mosque ; and it 51 is surely the very truth from thy Lord; 
and Allah is not unmindful of what you work. 

150. (^ 5 ^x^. . . ~* .) And from whencesoever thou goest forth turn thy 
face towards the sacred mosque 62 ; and wherever you may be> 53 turn your face 
towards it, lest there should be with people 54 an argument against you 55 except 
those of them who transgress 56 ; so do not fear them, 57 but fear Me, 58 so that I 
may perfect My favour upon you 59 and that you may remain truly guided. 60 

151 ( '.jr*U 5 - • .Li) Thus 61 We have sent forth to you a messenger from 
amongst you, who rfecites to you Our revelations and purifies you 62 and teaches 
you the Book 63 and wisdom, 64 and teaches you what you were not wont to 
know. 65 

152. (^ 5 y^>... %*ili) Remember Me therefore, 66 and I shali remember 
you, 67 and to Me pay thanks 68 and do not deny Me. 69 

47. (in prayer). That is the chief reason for appointing a distinctive qiblah 
for the believers,— a symbol of their religious solidarity and communal unity. 

48. (O Muslims! and leave alone this wrangling about qiblah). 

49. (in His presence, to judge of your actions, O Mankind !). Hence the 
greater need for hastening towards a life of virtue. (Th). 

50. (O Prophet!). 

51. i, e., this command to turn towards qiblah. * 

52. The command is repeated for the sake of emphasis. The value of 
having one particular qiblah for the entire community of the faithful, scattered 
throughout the world, and composed of men of every race and country cannot be 
too highly emphasized. 

II. SUrat^u/'Baqarah 97 

53. (O Muslims !) 

54. (hostile to you). 

55. (that the Final Prophet was to have Ka'ba as his permanent qibla h), 

56. (and are bent on evil ; and their vexatious squabbles would be of no 
harm to Islam). 

57. (and do not pay any great attention to their puerilities). 

58. (as it is disobedience to My command that can lead you to perdition 
and misery). 

59. (in the Hereafter, by making you enter the Paradise). 

60. (in this world). A condition precedent to the consummation of Divine 
grace in the Hereafter. 

61. The meaning is : this appointment of Abraham's Sanctuary as the qiblah 
for all trne believers is in fulfilment of his prayer, as, when raising the foundations 
of the House along with Isma'll, he had prayed, 'Our Lord ! accept Thou this 
from us '/ See verse 127 above. 

62. (of sin and spiritual defilement). 

63. The holy Prophet was not a mere faithful transmitter. He was also a 
teacher, and an interpreter. See P. I. n. 593. 

64. The Prophet, in addition to the Revealed words he transmits, is also 
endowed with Divine wisdom which he imparts to his followers by His words and 
deeds. See also P. I. n. 593. 

65. Human reason cannot go beyound a certain limit. Revelation must 
come to its rescue for the solution of ultimate problems. The purport of the passage 
is : The appointment of Ka'ba as qiblah was as much of a certainty as the fulfilment 
of another prayer of Abraham for raising among his and Ismail's progeny a 
Prophet. The advent of the Prophet of Islam and the raising of the House to the 
status of the qiblah were really the two parts of Abraham's prayer and were bound 
to come together. 

66. (O mankind ! with prayer and worship) i. e., be mindful of My favours. 

67. (with favours and blessings). 

68. (by your faith and acts of obedience). 

69. (by your acts of rebellion and disobedience). 

98 Part II 

r3&. •'■ . "t&jt: 


153. ( # ^^J1. . X^Ij) you who believe ; seek help in patience 70 and 
prayer 71 ; surely Allah is with the patient. 72 

154. Lj.jfc&J. . *9 5 ) And do not speak of those slain in the way of Allah 
as dead 73 , Nay, they are alive, 71 but you do not perceive. 

1 55. (^^M .... r <J ,JUJJ 5 ) And We shall surely test you with aught of 
fear and hunger arid loss in riches and lives and fruits 75 ; and bear thou 76 glad 
tidings to the patient. 77 

156. ■(^^)./.-.' l2 rfjjO Who, when an affliction afflicts them 78 , say 79 : 
'surely we 80 are Allah's 81 and surely to Him we shall return'. 82 

157. Liyitf«*J! . . . UUl J) They are the ones on whom shall be benedic- 
tions from their Lord and mercy, 83 and they are the ones who are guided. 84 

158. (^u ... Jl) Surely Safa 85 and Marwa 86 are of the landmarks of Allah 87 ; 
so whoso makes a pilgrimage to the House 88 , or performs the 'Umra 89 in him is 
to be no fault 90 if he walks in-between the twain. 91 And whoso does good 
voluntarily 92 , then surely Allah is Appreciative, 93 Knowing 94 . 

70. (to relieve yourselves of the depression, naturally great and deep, caused 
by the manifest perversity of the disbelievers). 

71. Which is an act of still greater merit than mere endurance of trials. 
Even according to non-Muslim observers, the holy Prophet 'was the first one to see 
the tremendous power of public prayer as a unification culture, and there can be 
little doubt that the power of Islam is due in large measure to the obedience of the 
faithful to this inviolable rule of the five prayers/ (Denison, Emotion as the basis of 
Civilisation, p. 275). 

72. This consciousness of the accompaniment of God, this awareness that 
He is with us, is the greatest comfort that the human mind can have in this world, 
and the greatest antidote to our sense of loneliness. 

73. i. e. y that they are dead, in the ordinary sense of the word. This truth 

II.Surat-ul-Baqarah 99 

has been recognized by the Jews also. According to them 'the souls of the righteous 
live like birds in cages guarded by angels . ... The .souls of martyrs also have a 
special place in heaven/ ( JE. VI. p. 566). 

74. (a Bar zakhish life, purer, fuller, and higher than that granted to man- 
kind in general). 

75. The passage, though of general import, was primarily intended to 
comfort tliose who had lost friends and relatives at the battle of Badr, and the 
'companions' who had suffered in health and prosperity by their emigration from 

76. (O Prophet!) 

77. i. e., those who have borne these trials and afflictions with good cheer. 

78. (such as disease or bereavement). 

79. (habitually, and with full understanding of the meaning of what they 

80. (and all that we can call our own— -home, family, property, and the 

81. i. <?., we belong to His property and His bondmen, so that He 
may do with us whatever He likes. 

82. (when and where. we shall surely be more, than repaid for any amount 
of loss incurred here and now). Every affliction that befalls a Muslim is cheerfully 
borne by him in the perfect assurance that either it is to wash him of his sins or to 
bless him in the Hereafter. 

83. ci,|^JU) is here synonymous with ^^ This sure dece'nding of the bene- 
diction and mercy of the Lord is the 'glad tidings' promised in verse 155 above. 

84. i. <?., they have realised the eternal and central truth that not they but 
their Lord is the Master, the Owner, of themselves ; and they are comforted in the 
belief that He is sure to more than recompensate them for their afflictions in this 

85. Safa, and Marwa are two eminences (not mountains, as supposed by 
Palmer) surmounted by arches, in the heart of Makka (not 'near Mecca' as imagined 
again by Palmer) in the vicinity of the Sacred Mosque, on either side. The dis- 
tance, 493 paces long has to be traversed seven times, partly with hasty steps, in 
memory of Hagar or Hajira (of blessed memory) who ran to and fro in search of 
water when left alone with baby , Isma'll in the waterless desert of Makka. 

86. 'In religious importance these two points or ".hills/" connected by 
Masa, stand second only to the Ka'ba. Safa is an elevated platform surmounted 
by a triple arch, and approached by a flight of steps. It lies south-east of the 
Ka'ba, facing the black corner, and 76 paces from the "Gate of Safa," which is 
architecturally the chief gate of the mosque. Marwa is a similar platform, formerly 
covered with a single arch, on the opposite side of the valley. It stands on a spur 
of Red mountain called Jebal Knaykian.' (EBr. XV. p. 152). 

100 Part II 

■mm mpm MaMM-MM mmmm mmmm mmmmmm mt — mmmmmm ^ mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm "^ , "^^" — ~" ■" ^ ,— ™ — " "^ " , ^™ ,— 1 "^ — ™ ™ ■"'^™ 

87. i. V., marks and signs of His religion. 4JJ} )->U-& means c all those 

religious services which God has appointed to us as signs or the rites and 

ceremonies of the pilgrimage, and the places where these rites and ceremonies are 
performed/ (LL). 

88. ^a, literally synonymous with s^a3 D Y restriction of its usage in the law, 
now means, 'He repaired to Makkah, or to the Kaabeh, to perform the religious 
rites and ceremonies of the pilgrimage/ (LL). 

89. a^j. is the minor p)lgrimage, with fewer ritts. Literally 'a visit, or -a 
visiting/ it is technically -'a religious visit to the sacred places at Makkah with the 
performance of the ceremony of \^J)— the circuiting round the Kaabeh, and the 
going to arid fro between Es-Safa and El-Merwata ; ^^)\ differs from it inasmuch 
as it is at a particular time of the year and is not complete Without the halting at 
'Arafat on the day of 'Arafat' (LL). 

90/. (as some Muslims were apt to think, taking it to be a relic of the pagan 


91. (in the way prescribed). This marching to and fro, between the two, 
far from being sinful, is one of the rites of pilgrimage. The passage was revealed to 
remove the scruples of the early Muslims who hesitated to perform the rite as the 
two ceremonies were venerated by the pagans and formerly there were seated on 
them two idols. \J>\*Lc is here used in its primary sense signifying, not compassing 
or circumambulating, but 'the act of going or walking, in an absolute sense.' (LL). 

92. (such as this tripping between Safa and Marwa in cases where it is not 

93. >SU like ).<££■ when, applied to God, means, 'He who approves, or 
rewards, or forgives, much or largely: He who gives large reward for small, or few, 
works'. (LL). Or, One who highly appreciates good and is Bountiful in rewarding 


94. t. *., Knower of the purity of motives. 

//. Surat-ul-Baqarah 

159. (jjjajJLM. . .^i) Surely those who conceal what We have sent down 
of evidences 95 and the guidance 96 after We have. expounded it 97 to mankind in 
the Book, 98 they are the very ones cursed by Allah 99 and cursed by the cursers: 100 

160. (^^M- ... Dl) Save those who repent 101 and make amends 102 and 
make known the truth. 103 Those are the very ones towards whom I relent ; and 
lam Relenting, Merciful. 104 

161. f^*-A.l'. .'. i2 i') Surely those who disbelieve and die while they are 
disbelievers, then it is they on whom shall be the curse of Allah and angels and 
mankind all 105 I 

162. Lj 5 }k>j . • • ^«U^.) They shall be abiders therein 106 ; lightened shall 
be not torment on them, nor shall they be respited. 

163. ((&±yj\ . • ■• f^J(j) Apcl. your God is the One God 107 ; there is no God 
but He, 108 Compassionate 109 , Merciful 110 . 


164 ' {&)**** • • • ij) Surely in the creation of the heavens and the earth 
and the alternation of night and day, 111 and the ^ships that sail upon the ocean 
lac/en with what profits mankind ; and in what Allah sends down of water from 
the heavens and revives the earth thereby after its death, and scatters in rt of all 
sorts of moving creatures, 112 and in the veering of winds and clouds subjected 
for service between heavens and earth ; in these are signs 113 to a people Who 

95. i. e., signs that are manifest in themselves. 

96. f. e., what is a source of guidance to others. The reference is to the 

97. 'It* refers to 'that which', i. e. y the matter Revealed. 

98. i. e. y Taurat and Injll. The word i_>t&<J ! is used here in its generic 

99. To be accursed of Allah,, in the phraseology of the Qur'an, is to be 
driven away and estranged from God, and to be deprived of His mercy and grace. 

102 Part II 

100. (from among angels, men and genii),*. *., all such as abhor and 
detest evil. The Christian conception of * curse* is singularly amusing, if not 
actually blasphemous :— 'The non-observance of the law, St. Paul teaches, puts 
men under a curse ; from this curse Christ redeems them by becoming Himself a 
curse on their behalf/ The proof that Christ did become a curse is given in the 
form of a reference to the Crucifixion: it is written, "Cursed is every one that 
hangeth on a tree". ... . In His death on the cross He was identified under God's 
dispensation with -the doom of sin: He became curse for us; and it is on this our 
redemption depends/'' (DB. I. p. 535). For the use of curses in the OT and the 
NT see P. I. n. 389, 

101. (their past). 

102. (their future). 

103. (which they had been so far hiding, and now publicly avow Islam). 
See verse 159 above. 

104. The God of Islam, unlike the God of so many religions, is neither 
jealous nor vindictive. This requires freiquent reiteration not only in view of the 
doctrines of the pagans but also of the teachings of the Bible. 'Beware of him, and 
obey his voice, provoke him not ; for he will not pardon your transgressions/ 
(Ex. 23 : 21). 'He is a holy God ; he is a jeolous God ; he will not forgive your 
transgressions nor your sins/ (Jo. 24: 19). 

105. Moses 'delivered blessings to them, and curses upon those that should 

not live according to the laws .After this curses were denounced upon those 

that should transgress those laws*. ("Ant" IV. 8 : 44). See n. 100 above. 

106. i. V., under that curse. 

107. (O mankind! and not many or several). This unequivocally repudi- 
ates and condemns the trinity of Christian god-head, the dualism of the 
Zoroastrian Divinity, and the Multiplicity of the gods of polytheistic peoples. 

108. This is monotheism par excellence, and not mere monolatry. Verses like 
the above are meant to emphasize the fact that only One God exists, not that one 
God is to be worshipped to the exclusion of other gods. 

109. He alone, and none other, is Perfect in the attribute of compassion. 

110. He alone, and none other, is Perfect in the attribute of mercy. 

111. The sky and the earth, night and day are all created beings, but very 
frequently have been personified and worshipped, as deities. 

112. Or 'animals/ £,)& literally is 'anything that walks or creeps or crawls 
upon the earth/ 

113. (of His Unity, Might and Wisdom). It is precisely such phenomena 
of nature from which have emerged a major part of the gods of polytheism. These 
grand and . beautiful objects of nature striking awe and wonder and exciting admi- 
ration in the human mind are in fact but so many evidences of the unique handi- 
work of their Creator; and it is absolutely foolish to adore and worship 'a heaven- 
god/ an 'earth-god/ a 'sun-god/ a 'moon-god/ ; a 'rain-god/, a 'wind-god/ and the 
like. All such various deities of the polytheistic nations are described at length by 
the writers on Sociology and Anthropology. See for example, PC, II, pp. 247-304; 
FWN, I & II. The Holy Qur'an leads from the study of nature to the contempla- 
tion of the Author of nature. 

//. SVrat-ul-Baqarah 103 

r#ar : , A&z 

165. (^i*)l . . . w* *) And of mankind are sg/77£> who set up 
compeers 114 to Allah ; they love them as with the love due to Allah. 115 And 
those who believe are strongest in love of Allah, 116 Would that those who are 
ungodly 117 saw 118 now what they shall see when they see the torment, 119 that 
surely power belonged wholly to Allah, and that Allah was Severe in Requital. 120 

1 66. (^'1^ Hi . . . . i I ) Remember when those who wejre followed 121 shall 
disown those who followed them, 122 and they all shall behold the torment and 
cut asunder shall be their cords 123 

167. (Jjji . . . !U *) And those who had followed shall say : 124 'could 
that for us were a return, 125 then we would disown them as they have disowned 
us.' Thus will Allah show them their works as anguish ; and they shall not be 
coming forth from the Fire. 


168. ( vA ^ .-. . t i<H tj) mankind ! eat of whatever is on the earth 126 
lawful and good,'" 7 - and do not walk in the footsteps of Satan ; 128 surely he is to 
you an enemy manifest— 129 

169. ( , ,^j . . . UJi) ^e on 'Y commands you to evii and indecency 
and that you should say against Allah what you do not know. 130 

114. See P. I. n. 95. 

115. The Arab polytheists looked upon their god as the head of their clan 
and behaved towards him as if he was their kinsman. The love of the Christians for 
Christ in preference to God is an equally apt illustration. 

116. Love of God, then, and not His fear alone, as generally misrepresented 
by the Christian 'missionaries/ is the spur of Islam. In the ideology of Islam, love 
of God forms, equally with His fear the incentive to good. And a devout Muslim 
is one whose love for Allah is supreme — unsurpassed by his love for anything else. 
It is his love for God that gives a definite and permanent direction to His will and 
forms the standing motive of his moral and religious life. 

117. (to themselves), i.s. 9 the infidels. 

104 Pan II 

118. i. e. 9 perceived by reflecting on it. 

119. (in this very world and found that nobody is able to remove it). 

120. (in the Hereafter). 

121. (in this world by the masses), i. e. y the chiefs arid leaders of the infidels. 

122. On the Judgment Day the leaders of irreligion will forsake and wash 
their hands off their disciples, as if they were not accomplices in the 'latter's careers 
of sin and disobedience. 

123. (Of mutual relationship) . e. 9 when face to face with requital and 
justice, the co-accused will desert and renounce each other. 

124. (in bitter anguish). 

125. (to the world). 

126. t. <?., lawfully acquired. 

127. i.e., lawful in itself. 

128. (by taking unclean foods, which- are unwholesome physically, morally 
*nd spiritually, or by making even clean foods unlawful by invoking over them any 
other name than that of God). 

129. (and as such the instigator to sin and blasphemy). 

130. i. e. 9 that of which you have no warranty : attribute to Him blasphe- 
mous doctrines. 

//. Surat-ul-Baqarah 105 



170. ( , 5 *vy^i . . . ii! *) And when # /s said to them 131 : 'follow what 
Allah has sent down', they say : 'nay, we shall follow that way whereon we 
found our fathers' 132 — -even though their fathers did not understand aught nor 
were they guided. 133 

■ ■ . . 171. ( .,- Jjuj . . . UU .) And the likeness 134 of those who disbelieve 135 is 
as the likeness of him who shouts to. that which hears naught, except the sound 
of a call and a cry ; 136 dead, 137 dumb, 138 blind ; 139 so they do not understand. 140 

172. (^5^*;. . .1^1) you who believe ! eat 141 of the good things 
with which We have provided you and return thanks to Allah, 142 if Him indeed 
you are wont to worship. 

173. (,j^) . . . Ui) "He has only forbidden to you 143 the dead animals, 144 
and blood, and flesh of swine, 145 and that over which is invoked the name of any 
other than Allah. 146 But whoso is driven to necessity, 147 neither desiring 148 nor 
transgressing, 149 on him is no sin ; 150 surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. 151 

131. i. *., the infidels. 

132. Pagan religions have no reasons or reasoned beliefs to set by. Their 
stock-in-trade is 'ancestral wisdom' — old and antiquated traditions and customs 
transmitted from one generation to another, 

133. i. e., are one's ancestors infallible guides t*6 be followed unquestioningly 
and blindly at all events, even when they have no authority of reason or Revelation 
to support them ? 

134. (in point ot insensibility and want of understanding). 

135. (and of him who invites them to the true religion). 

136. (without comprehending any meaning) . 

137. (to the call of reason and religion). 

138. (in acknowledging truth). 

139. (to their own real interests) . 

140. Preaching to the wilful rejecters of faith is like calling to the dumb, 
driven cattle who hear sounds but understand nothing. 

106 Part II 

141. (whatever you may desire). 

142, (both in word and deed). 

143.. (not what you may forbid unto yourself, but such things as the follow- 

144. l£x* signifies 'that which has not been slaughtered in the manner 
prescribed by the law/ 

145. The foul habit and coarse feeding of Swine— let alone its liability to 
leprosy and glandular disease— are sufficient to make its flesh repulsive. Whatever 
the practice of the modern 'Christian' nations in regard to 'pork/ and 'bacon' and 
'ham/ the Bible's abhorrence of swine is clear. 'And the swine . . . . he is unclean 
to you' : (Le. 1 1 : 7). 'And the swine .... it is unclean to you ; ye shall not eat of 
their flesh, nor touch their :dead carcase/ (Dt. 14 : 8). Cf. also Is. 65 ; 4 ; JVJt. 7:6; 
and 2 Pe. 2:22. 'The eating of swine's flesh is forbidden in Israel .... .The 
flesh and blood of swine are described as characteristically heathen and repulsive 
offerings . . . The ancient Egyptians and Phoenicians as well as Jews regarded swine 
as unclean.' (DB. IV. p, 633). In Arabic, the very word suggests a feeling of 
revulsion. wU^L, sa Y s a writer on 'Primary Arabic Roots/ 'seems to be structural 
derivative form of JljufcjUiJ "th* thing become filthy," and a hog is called wjyfcL 
because of its dirty habits. What is more striking is that even in the English lan- 
guage, 'hog' and* its synonyms always imply something that is mean, loathsome or 
contemptible. 'Swine/ in English, is 'a low, greedy or vicious person/ (NSD). 
'Applied opprobriously to asexual, degraded, or coarse person ; also (in modern use) 
as a mere term of contempt or abuse' (SOED). And 'swinish/ is 'gross specially, 
in eating or drinking; beastly/ (NSD); Sensual, gluttonous; coarse, beastly; 
(SOED). 'Pig/ again, is 'a person who is likea pig; especially one who is filthy, 
gluttonous, or grasping' (NSD); 'applied opprobriously to a person.' (SOED). 
And 'piggish' is 'greedy ; uncleanly' (NSD) ; 'Selfish, mean ; unclean, vile' (SOED). 
'Hog/ once again, is 'a filthy, gluttonous ; or grasping person ; also, one selfishly 
indifferent to the rights of others / and 'hoggish' means 'like a hog ; gluttonous ; 
selfish; filthy ; mean' (NSD). Is all this mere coincidence ? 

146. (by way of adoration) . The pagans used to slaughter animals in the 
name of their various deities. 

147. (to eat an unlawful food). 

148. i.'e.y seeking it for the pleasure of the palate. 

149. (the bare limits of necessity). 

150. (in eating one of the forbidden foods) . 

151. Forgiveness is that attribute of Divine nature by virtue of which guilt 
is overlooked and a being who deserves punishment is treated with grace and kind- 
ness. See also n. 104 above. 

II.Surat-ul-Baqarah 107 

174. (<oJ! . . . \,1) Surely those who conceal what Allah has sent 
down in the Book, and purchase therewith a small gain, 152 these are they who 
swallow in their bellies naught but Fire 163 Allah shall not speak to them 154 on 
the Day of Resurrection, nor purify them, 165 and to them s hall be a torment 

175. /()UJ|. . . . <_(£' S) "Those are they who have purchased error for 
guidance 156 and torment for forgiveness. 157 How daring must they be in facing 
the Fire. 158 

176. (sxxj . . . wJlHi) This 158 shall be because Allah has surely sent down 
the Book 160 with truth ; and surely those who differ 161 respecting the Book 162 are 
in schism 163 wide. 

152. i. e., worldly consideration, which is always but a 'small gain/ The 
reference is to the Jews. 

153. Great as is the sin of taking unclean and unlawful foods, far greater 
is the sin of wilful concealment of the teaching of the Book, so habitual with the 

154. (a kind word). 

155. (by forgiving their sins). 

156. (in this world). 

157. (in the Hereafter). 

158. !„ here is expressive of surprise or wonder. 

159. i. e; } the chastisement they shall have to endure. 

160. l^.UXJ! as a generic name, here signifies the Revealed Books in general ; 
or, it may refer specifically to the Qur'an. 

16L (among themselves). 

162. which is so transparently true. 

108 Part II 

163. i.e., at great variance with, truth, and constantly disputing among 
themselves. The divisions and subdivisions of the Christians are only too well known. 
Drape.r, while speaking of the interminable wranglings and bickerings of the 
Ghristian sects, refers to 'the incomprehensible jargon of Arians, Nestorians, 
Entychians, Monothelites, Monophysites, Mariolatrists, and an anarchy of countless 
disputants/ {History of the Intellectual Development of Europe, I, p. 333). 

//. Surat-ul-Baqarah 109 


177. ( .j*xJl . . . ,>*0 Virtue is not in this 1 ** that you turn your 
faces 165 to the east and the wetst, 166 but virtue is of him who believes in Allah 
and the Last Day and the angels and the Book 167 and the prophets, 168 and gives 
of his substance, for love of Him,* 69 to kindered and orphans and the needy and 
the wayfarer and the beggars 170 and for redeeming necks ; 171 and establishes 
prayer and gives poor rate 172 and is.. of the performers of their promises when 
they have promised ; and is of the patient in adversity and affliction 173 and m time 
of violence ; 174 — these are they whp have proved true, 178 and these are they who 
are Godfearing. 176 

178. (^j t . . i^ !.j) you who believe! ordained for you is retaliation 177 
in the matter of the slain ; 178 the free for the free, and a slave for a slave 179 and a 
woman for a women 180 ; yet whoso 181 is pardoned aught 182 by his brother, 183 
let the service 184 be honourable 185 and payment 186 with kindness. 187 This 188 is an 
alleviation from your Lord and a mercy ; 189 so whoso will transgress hereafter, 190 
for him shall be a torment afflictive. 191 

179. (^ja£J . . . *d 5 ) Anc * for you is life in retaliation/ 92 men of 
insight ! that haply you willbe God-fearing. 

180. ( -O.SXJ1 . .. v-^x* ) Ordained for you, when death is nigh unto 
one of you, if he leaves behind any property, is the making of a bequest for his 
parents and kindered equitably— a duty on the Goc/-fearing. 193 

164: (as misguided and superstitious nations are apt to think.. 

165. (in prayer). 

166. Which directions have been held sacred by many pagan nations. In 
Greek' religion, deities were classified as Olympian and Chthonian. The East was 
the abode of the Olympian gods and the direction to which their temples looked and 
their worshippers turned when sacrificing to them, 'while the west was the direction 
which the worshippers of the Chthonian gods faced/ (DB. V. p. 143). According to 

110 Part II 

Hindus, the direction of south-east was sacred to the Manu and the performances of 
shuddha faced it during the ceremony. X^RJE- XII > p. 618); It was the belief of 
the early Church that evil entered from the north. In most of the early Saxon 
churches, and in many of the churches of the Norman period, all over the country, 
there was a north door. There are few early churches in Shropshire and the border 
countries that are without their north door ; which, in most instances, has been built 
up. The north door is believed to have been used as the entrance to the church on 
the occasion of baptisms, when the child was supposed to have passed from the evil 
influence of the world and the devil into the care of the Church. The verse strikes 
at the root of the 'direction- worship', and says in effect that there is no merit at all 
in turning towards any particular direction. For Christian orientation and allied 
topics see P. I, nn. 516, 517, 519. Islamic worship, it must be manifest to the 
reader, is not directed towards any direction as such -east, west, north, or south, but 
towards a particular House, on whatever side of the worshipper it may happen to be. 
See P. I, nn. 518, 520. Thei particle .may here also be translated as or. 

167. i^t&CJl * s here again a generic name standing for all the Revealed 
Books and not for any particular Scripture. 

■16&. This sums up Islamic belief: belief in God, in His Prophets, in His 
Books, in the Day of Judgment, and in the Angels. 

169. Note the principal motive^force, in the Islamic code, to all acts of 
merit. Not; to win the applause of human beings, nor to achieve good name, but 
impelled by the love of his Creator, Master and Sustainer, and moved to. win His 
good-will, a Muslim is truly religious in all his acts of charity and benevolence. 

170. Not those who make begging a profession, but those driven to beg by 
sheer need. 

171. (of slaves and captives) . 'Redeeming necks' is freeing them, and is in 
Islam a primary social duty. . 

172. (at regular intervals) . A simple and natural, and yet perfectly effec- 
tive, way of solving many an economic problem. This sums up the main heads of 
Islamic devotions. 

173* fi]yj> is 'that evil which relates to the person ; as disease : whereas *\ mM Xj 
is that which relates to property; as poverty." (LL). 

174. i. e., in war against the infidels. 

175. (in their faith : in righteousness). Here is a beautiful resume of the 
main requirements of the faith, with the threefold division of: 

1. Islamic beliefs, 

2, Islamic devotions, and 

3.- Islamic code of social and moral duties. 

176. 'This is one of the noblest verses in the Quran . . . Faith in God and 
benevolence towards man is clearly set forth as the essence of religion. It contains 
a compendium of doctrine to be believed as well as of precept to be practised in life/ 

//. Surat-ul-Baqarah 111 

It is something after all to have these words of commendation by so irreverent a 
critic of Islam as 'reverend' E. M. Wherry. 

177. Which is not quite the same thing as mere revenge. 'Islam while 
recognizing retaliation as the basic principle of remedial right, favours compensation 
as being a principle which* is roost consistent with the peace and progress of society, 
and lays down rules for the purpose of co^%ijJg retaliation within the narrowest 
possib*[e limits/ 'Abdur Rahim, Muhammadan Jurisprudence (op. cit., p. 359). 

^1 78. Cf. the law of Moses : 'And he that killeth any man shall surely be put 
to death/ (Le. 24: 17). 'And he that killeth a man, he shall be put to death/ 

179. 'According to Hana f Is the life of a slave stands on an equal footing 
with that of a free-man, of a woman with that of a man, of a non-Muslim subject 
with that of a Muslim/ ('Abdur Rahim, pp. cit., p. 359). . 

180:. The essence of the verse, as is evident, is insistence on justice, impar- 
tial and unalloyed, and a negation of all iniquities. No favour or partiality is to be 
shown to the murderer if he happens to be a person of wealth and influence, as was 
customary both with the Jews and the pagan Arabs. 

181. (of the murderers). 

182. (of the penalty) i. e. 9 a portion but not the whole. 

183. i. e. y the other party. The law of Islam, unlike the modern law of 
Europe based on the legal statutes of the pagan Romans, takes into view civil liabi- 
lity of the murderer even more than his criminal responsibility, and treats murder as 
an act of injury to the family of the slain rather than an offence against the state. 
Hence the recognition, in Islamic law, of the rights of relations, and the legality of 
blood-wit or fine paid to the heirs and kindred of the slain. 

184. (of the blood-money on the part of the complainant). 

185. *. e., without causing undue harassment to the culprit. 

186. (of the blood-money on the part of the offender). 

187. i.e., without causing undue harassment to the complainant. The 
purport is that both the demand and the payment should be made with full human 

188. i. e. 9 the provision to remit. 'Retaliation being the right of the\ person 
injured or of his heirs, they can compound with the offender for money, or, if they 
choose, pardon him. Wherever retaliation for murder or hurt is compounded the 
money payable as consideration can be realized only from the offender himself. So 
also when compensation is ordered in cases where there is a doubt as to the wilful 
nature of the homicide. Similarly, when the hurt caused has not resulted in death, 
the wrong-doer alone can be called upon to pay compensation. But when death 
has been caused by negligence or mistake, the offender's Akilas, that is, his tribe or 
relations, or the inhabitants of the town to which he belongs, are to pay the blood- 
money to the heirs of the deceased. The reason is that it is the duty of a person's 

.112 Part II 

Akilas to watch over his conduct and the law presumes that the wrong-doer would 
not have acted in the way he did unless they neglected their duty./ (\Abdur Rahim, 
op. cit.p. 359). 

189. i. e. y God has thereby allowed His stern justice to be mingled with 
mercy. 'The law, though it recognizes retaliation in theory, discourages this form 
of remedy in every possible way. For example, if there be the least doubt as to the 
wilful character of the offence or the proof, retaliation will not be ordered/ 
('Abdur Rahim, op. ciu p. 359). 

190. (by accusing or implicating someone falsely, or by insisting on full 
vengeance after remitting), s^ is here used, according to some, in the sense of -* 
The rendering in that case would be 'notwithstanding that/ 

191. (in the Hereafter). 

192. i. e., the saving thereof. The knowledge of the law of retaliation 
restrains from intentional slaughter or culpable homicide and so is a source of life to 
two persons. Islam, the ideal-practical religion of humanity, does fully recognise 
the need of a law of retaliation, in sharp distinction from an unqualified justalionis 
which makes endless every affair when once it has been started, and which is at best 
suited only to the savage stages of society. 

193. This was ordained long before .the law of inheritance was revealed, 
which alone is the governing law now 'in. all such* cases. 

II. Surat-ul-Baqarah .113 

181. (^JU . . . ..*.i) Then whoso alters it 194 after he has heard it the sin 
thereof shall be only on them who will alter it; 185 surely Allah is Hearer, 196 
Knower. 397 

182. (^ ) . . .^J)-Bu't whoso apprehends 198 from the testator a mis- 
take 199 or a sin 200 and thereupon 201 he makes up the matter between them, 202 on 
him there shall be. no sin - 203 surely Allah is Forgiver, Merciful. 204 


183. ( .I - ,**; . . . -I^i'Ij). Q you who believe ! ordained foryouis fast- 
ing, 205 even as it was ordained for those before you/ 206 that haply you will be God- 
fearing— 207 

184. ■( .,juj . . . Uljl)'Days numbered. 208 Then whoso among you is 
ill or journeying, for him is the like number of other days. 209 And those who can 
keep it with hardship 230 the redemption is the feeding of a poor person ; 211 and 
whoso does good voluntarily 212 it will be better for him, 213 and that your fast 214 
will be better for you if you but know. 235 

194. f. e., the will or bequest. 

195. (and not upon the presiding officers of the court who may unwarily be 
led into errors). 

196. So He hears the perjured statements of the forger. 

197. So He knows the innocence of. the presiding officer of the court. 

198. ^JlsL is also used in the sense of j^ he thought, or opined. y Hence 
the phrase in the text may mean ; 'And he who knoweth that there is, on the part 
of the testator, an inclining to a wrong course, or a declining from the right course/ 

199. (committed inadvertently in regard to the bequest). ^JjL^ literally is 
a declining or deviating from the right course ; acting wrongfully. 

200. :. e., intentional infringement of the law of inheritance. 

201. (fearing a litigation between the heirs of the deceased). 

114 Part II 

202. i. *., heirs; the parties concerned. v 

203. (for making an alteration in the will). 

204. (even to the sinners ; and much more so to such a person who has 
committed no sin at all). 

205. 'One of the fruits of Islam/ says an European observer, William 
Pa ton, 'has been that stubborn, durable patience which comes of the submission to 
the absolute will of Allah/ Now it is the institution of fasting, more than anything 
else, that is responsible for the generation of this 'stubborn, durable patience' in the 
Muslim character. 

206. *By the greater number of religions, in the lower, middle, and higher 
cultures alike, fasting is largely prescribed/ (EBr. IX. p. 106). 'It would be 
difficult to name any religious system of any description in which it is wholly 
unrecognized/ (EBr. X. p. 193. 11th Ed.). 'We have no evidence of any practice 
of lasting in pre-Islamic pagan Arabia, but the institution was, of course, well 
established among both Christians and Jews/ (Hittij op. cit. p. 133). 

207. (and attain piety by this regular exercise of self-discipline). It is here 
that the distinctive characteristic of the Islamic fast comes out in pre-eminence. 
Both the Jews and the Christians took to fasting as a mere mode of expiation or 
penitence, or for purposes even narrower and strictly formal. 'In olden times fasting 
was instituted as a sign of mourning, or when danger threatened, or when the seer 
was preparing himself for a divine revelation/ (JE. V. p. 347). It is Islam that 
immensely broadened the outlook, and/aised the motive and the purpose of fasting. 
In Islam it is a voluntary and cheerful renunciation, for a definite period, of all the 
appetites of flesh lawful in themselves (the unlawful ones being ruled out of course) — 
a salutary exercise of both the body and the spirit. 'Disciplinary fasting/ such as 
the Islamic fasting may be termed, 'is regarded as a reasonable and useful practice, 
even by those who consider all other forms of fasting to be misconceived and vain . . . 
Normally, it is a reasonable part of the soulV preparation for the maintenance of 
self-control in times of strong temp tation' (EBr IX, p. 108) 

208. (Shall ye fast), i. *., only for thirty or twenty-nine days. The month 
supplies the greatest continued test of self-discipline known to the world. So 
meritorious is this fast in the eyes of the Lord that, according to the sayings of the 
Prophet, 'the very smell of the mouth of the keeper of a fast is more agreeable to 
Allah than the smell of musk/ And so sacred is the month that 'with its coming 
the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and devils are 

209. The law is only permissive, not imperative. Those who are ill or on 
journey may, and not must, postpone their fasts till after Ramadhan, or may go on 
fasting regularly within the month. It is optional with them. 

210. i. e. y such men and women as are exceedingly weak or are of very 
advanced old age. UlLx signifies what can be done or borne with the utmost 

Surat-ul-Baqarah 115 

difficulty, f the utmost that one can do, with difficulty, trouble or inconvenience/ 
(LL). Another reading for <$j fajaj is *jy jfej. and it means & ^JLO tnat is? 'shall 
have imposed upon them as a thing that is difficult, troublesome, and inconvenient/ 

21.1. (according to the average quantity and quality of what a man eats in 
a day). 

212. i. e., shall spend on the poor over and above the prescribed 

213. To be munificent and generous is always commendable ; it is 
immeasurably more to be so in this month of purification, piety and self-denial. 
Hence it is that the Holy Prophet — the most bountiful of men — was more bountiful 
than ever in the month of Ramadhan. The duty to give alms present throughout 
the year becomes paramount during Ramadhan ; and the holy Prophet has declared 
that until a man has distributed the legal and customary gifts, at the end of the 
month, before celebrating the festival of 'Id, his fasts will be kept suspended between 
heaven and earth. 

"» 214. (if you still choose to keep fasts). 

215. (the incomparable merit of fasting the whole month of Ramadhan) 

116 Part It 

185. ( . 5> CAJ ...- . y^A ) The month 216 of Ramadhan: 211 in it was sent 
down the Qur'an, 218 a guidance to mankind 219 and with evidences; 220 one of the 
Books of guidance and distinction. 221 So whoso of you witnesses the month, 222 
he shall fast it; 223 and whoso is ill or journeying for him is the like number of 
other days. Allah desires for you ease 224 and does not desire for you hardship; 225 
so you shall complete the number 226 and shall magnify Allah for His having, 
guided you, 227 and haply you may give thanks. 228 

186. ( .yk&o . . . lit.) And when My bondmen ask thee 229 regarding 
Me/ 230 then surely I am nigh. 231 I answer the call of the caller, when he calls 
Me ; 232 so let them answer Me 233 and believe in Me, haply they may be directed. 

216. Month, in the Qur'an, means lunar month — the period of a lunar 
revolution, the period from the first appearance of one new moon to that of the next. 

217. The root ^^ means 'to bake sheep' in its skin'. The noun Ramadhan 
is thus reminiscent of the excessiveness of heat. It is the ninth month of the 
Arabian year, said to be so named because it originally fell in the height of summer. 
Once at the beginning of the holy month the Prophet made a great oration in the 
course of which he said :— O ye men ! an exceedingly great moon has now over- 
shadowed you The Most High has appointed the fast during its nights as a 

custom. Whoever does a supererogatory work in the month, will be rewarded as 
much as if he does a legally enjoined work in another month : and whoever performs 
a legally enjoined work in this month, will be rewarded the same as if lie had 
performed seventy such works is any ojther month. This is the month of patience,. 
and the reward of the patience of the month is Paradise/ 

218. The first verses of the Qur'an were revealed in the month of 
Ramadhan. So by 'sent down', here, is meant 'commenced to be sent down.' 
Or it may mean, according to the orthodox opinion, that in the month of 
Ramadhan, the Qur'an was sent down from the seventh heaven to Gabriel in the 
first heaven, and then it came to the holy Prophet, by and by, as the occasion 

//. SOrat- ul-Baqarah ^ 117 

219. This, the fact of its being a universal guide, is the first characteristic 
of the Holy Qur 'an. 

220. (found in its every page), i..e. } the Book is full of evidences. This is 
its second characteristic. 

221. (between truth and falsehood). j^JJ and ^\3 y »}\ both with the 
definite article |j are used, in a generic sense, of all Divine Scriptures. 

r 222. The length of the lunar month varies from twenty-nine to thirty days, 
and the beginning of the month depends on the visibility of the moon. The provision 
laid down in the verse exempts from obligation the people of those 'outlandish' 
countries where there is no periodic appearance of the moon at the beginning of 
every lunar month. 

223. i. e., the whole of it. The entire morith is to be spent in fasting for the 
whole day, and yet this religion has been accused of attracting men by only 
pondering to their self-indulgence ! Truly has Arnold observed, quoting Garlyle, that 
the Prophet's 'religion is not an easy one : with rigorous fasts, lavatious, strict, com- 
plex formulas, prayers five times a day, and abstinence from wine, it did not succeed 
by being an easy religion/ (Preaching of Islam, p. 418). . -. - ■ 

224. (and so He has allowed these concessions). Yet very few of the good 
and devout Muslims ever avail themselves of these concessions, to. the marvel of non- 
Muslim observers. 'The strictness of the fast .... has maintained unrelated at 
whatever season, it may fall, and to this day, in the parched plains of the East, for 
the whole month, however burning the sun and scorching the wind, the follower of 
Mohammad may not suffer a drop of water during the long summer day, to pass his 
lips . . . The trial, though thus unequally severe in different climes and at different 
terms of the cycle, is no doubt a wholesome exercise of faith and self-denial/ (Muir 
op. tit. p. 193). 

225. (in His laws and commandments : so that this institution of fasting is a 
blessing rather than a burden). Compare a saying of the Prophet: 'Verily the 
Religion is easy (to practise)/ 

226. (of days, at some later period; and shall thereby obtain the same 
merit as by fasting the month of Ramadhan) . 

227. (to this way of making up for the blessing of Ramadhan).' 

228. (to God for making your path so smooth and so easy, both physically 
and spiritually). 

229. (O Prophet!) 

230. i. *., whether I am near-by or remote. 

231. (always, nighest when My servants starve themselves for the whole day 
in obedience to My commands and out of love for Me). The God of Islam, never 
distant or remote, is the constant companion of His servants, their unfailing 
support, and an infallible prop to those in need and distress — unlike so many gods 
of polytheism elevated far above men living in Olympian heights and having little 
or no vital connection with them. 

232. (except in prayer whether that acceptance be immediate or deferred, 
direct Or indirect) Prayer is the strongest and most visible acknowledgment of GodV 
sovereignty and man's uttar dependence on Him. Islam, it has been well said, 
'ritually viewed^ is in its inmost essence a service of prayer/ 

233. i. e., My call by faith and obedience, when I call them to belief* 

118 Part II 


187. ( . j&j . . '. J.^1) Mowed to you, on the night of fasts, is con- 
sorting with your women 234 ; they are a garment for you 235 and you are a 
garment for them. 236 Allah, knows that you have been defrauding yourselves, 237 
so He has relented towards you 238 and pardonM you. 239 So now 240 copulate 
with them 241 , and seek what -Allah, has ordained for you, 242 and eat and drink, 243 
until the white thread becomes. manifest to you from the black thread of the 
dawn 244 ;'■ so complete the fast till nightfall. 245 And do not copulate with them 246 
while you are retreating in the mosques. 247 These are the bounds of Allah, 248 so 
do not approach them. 249 Thus 260 Allah expounds His signs 251 to mankind 252 that 
haply they may fear 253 H/m. 

188. .■( .jJUj . . . icJib'}).) And do not devour your riches 254 among 
yourselves in vanity,* 55 nor convey them 256 to the judges that you may thereby 
devour portion of other people's riches sinfully while you know. 257 


189. (^saJUr. . . UJ-^JULyuf) The Y ask thee 258 of new moons. 259 Say 
thou : 'they are time-marks for mankind 260 and for the season of Hajj'. 261 And 
it is no virtue that you enter your houses by their backs, 262 but the virtue is his 
who fears God; 2 « z so enter the houses by their doors, 264 and fear Allah, in order 
that you may thrive. 265 

19 °- (eh?***-Jl • • • t*Pl*)) And fiQht 266 in the way of Allah 267 those 
who fight you 268 and do not trespass 269 ; surely Allah does not love the tres- 
passers. 270 

234. ,j^j . \means sexuality and lewd conduct in general 'comprehending 
everything that a man desires of his wife/ (LL) This permissive commandment is 
of a later date. Sexual passion, in Islam, is not, as it is in Christianity, the most 
dread full of all sins, in fact the original sin which caused the Fall of Man. And 
normal sexuality can very well co-exist with the sanctity of the Ramadhan. 

//. Surat-ul-Baqarah 119 

235. So close and intimate, in Islam, are the mutual relations of man and 
wife. ,**UJ literally is the covering of anything. Husband and wife are called ^LaJ 
'because each embraces the other, or because each goes to the other for rest, and 
consorts with (^wlb) tne other, (LL). The phrase may be paraphrased as saying 
that men and women use each other as constant and inseparable companion. It 
emphasizes the fact of their interdependence in life, the one being incomplete with- 
out the other. Compare the dictum of a distinguished lady biologist, Dr. Elisabeth 
Chesser of London :— 'A vast amount of energy is wasted in futile argument as to 
the relative superiority of man and woman ... Each sex contains undeveloped 
organs and functions which are more fully developed in the other ... The lesson of 
biology is that, where sex exists, the two sexes are mutually dependent/ (Forbath in 
Love, Marriage and Jealousy, p. 180). Compare with this the attitude of Christianity 
which holds the woman as a creature impure, perhaps the dirtiest, and regards her 
as a synonym for the temptress. 'The fathers of Church and the preachers did not 
cease to utter their thunders against woman, disparaging her, and abusing her as the 
impure creature, almost devilish. *' (Letourneau, Evolution of Marriage, p. 205). 
'In the first few centuries of the Christian era the Western world was inundated with 
some very remarkable notions about women which came to them from the hills of 
Tibet ... Women were told, with all the weight of a sacred authority, that they 
should be ashamed of the thought that they were women, and should live in 
continual penance on account of the curses their sex had brought into the world. 
The very phrases of Manu used against women were the door of hell, the personifi- 
cation of sin. Some even went so far as to maintain that their bodies were of 
diabolic origin, but this was decided to be a heresy !* (UHWI, p. 379). 

236. The metaphor is of exquisite beauty, expressive of close intimacy, 
identity of interests, mutual comfort and confidence, mutual upholding of each 
other's reputation and credit, mutual respect of one another's secrets, mutual affec- 
tion, and mutual consolation in misfortune. The whole character of the one becomes 
an open book to the other. The wedded pair cease to belong to themselves ; they 
now belong to each other, sharing each other's joys, sorrows, glories and shames. 
And yet Islam has, in the eyes of 'honest* Christian critics, 'degraded the position 
of woman !' 

237. (in this respect) i. *., concerning the restriction imposed so far. 
Earlier, the Muslims were not allowed to lie with their wives even during the night 
in the month of Ramadhan. This was relaxed later on. Islam fully recognizes the 
fact that the sexual instinct is one of the most powerful organic needs. 

238. (in regard to the future, and has withdrawn the restriction). 

239. (in regard to the past). 

240. (that the restriction has been withdrawn) 

241. (in the night during the month). The pronoun refers to 'your women/ 
In Islam, unlike what is in Christianity, sex is not taboo, and sexual intercourse is 

120 Part II 

not an impure act and a disagreeable task imposed on humanity as a punishment 
for the Fall, and • ' to be undertaken injthe spirit in which one submits to a surgical 
operation/ The act of copulation unless coupled with sin, is in itself a perfectly 
innocent act and, in proper circumstances, it is bodily healthful and mentally pleasure-* 
giving. 'Failure to enjoy sex/ as observed by a modern British social philosopher, 
c so far from being virtuous, is a mere physiological or psychological deficiency, like 
a failure to enjoy food/ (Russell, Marriage and Morals, p. 111). 

242. (of offspring) . One of the main objects of the union of man and wife 
is thus seen to be procreation. All forms; of contraception are, by implication, 
interdicted. 'Birth 'control/- as defeating the primary purpose of the martial act, 
can find no place in Islam. In individual cases of ill-health or extreme poverty, the 
remedy lies in merital abstinence, not in the use of artificial contraceptives which, 
even from a purely materialistic point of view, are still far from perfect. 'Contra- 
ceptive methods . . . for the most part, are untrustworthy and frequently even 
injurious/ (Nemilov, Biological Tragedy of Woman, p. 193). 'Nor is the use of some 
contraceptives free from physical risk. They produce a certain amount of septic 
absorption and may even cause death* (Scharlieb, Straight Talks to Women, p. 140). 
'The entirely successful contraceptive, one that would be sure, harmless and simple, 
has not yet been discovered/ (EBr. III. p. 650) And fortunately so. 'That there 
should be no known contraceptive which does not in some way make the complete 
happiness of merital intercourse, will perhaps be regarded by some as a very wise 
dispensation of Providence* (Ludovici, The Woman, p. 203). One may of course 
live in continence, if he so likes, but there is no sense and no meaning in exercising 
the act of generation and yet frustrating its natural outcome. The modern medical 
expert while recognizing that 'there are women whose health, happiness and 
efficiency, are being impaired by too frequent pregnancies/ is forced to admit that 
the havoc these artificial practices, so much in vogue, cause is palpable. Dr. Mary 
Scharlieb, the eminent lady, doctor, after long and elaborate investigations has 
arrived at the following conclusions : 'From every point of view, the welfare of 
individual, the safety of the empire and the purity of our homes, it is evidently most 
desirable that the use of artificial contraceptives should cease. There is something 

peculiarly unnatural and nauseous in their use something essentially destructive 

of the joy and spontaneity characteristic of wedded love. Great risks to health and 
happiness are involved in their use/ (Straight Talks to Women, pp. 167-168) 

243. (amidst reflective vigil and standing up in'the night). 

244. t. e,, until the true dawn is distinguished from the false one. 
^axJ! la#sx)\ and •-a^JJ k#*Jl m tne context mean. 'the true dawn, and the false 
dawn ; or the whiteness of the dawn, and the blackness of night/ (LL) 

245. • (which coincides with the setting of the sun) . The days should be 
passed, so far as possible, in acts of service to God and mankind. 

,246. i. e. 9 with your wives. 

'//. SQrat-ul-Baqarah 121 

247. (as a matter of special devotion, nor have anything to do with them 
lustfully). It is an act of great merit, though not obligatory, following the practice 
of the Prophet himself, to cut oneself off from all mundane affairs, during the last 
ten days of Ramadhan, regarded as specially sacred, while staying day and night in 
a mosque and occupied with pious exercises. This is technically known as Ttikqf, 
or retreat, meaning withholding oneself from the- customary exercise of freedom of 
action in the disposal or management of affairs' (LL). 

248. i. e.> restrictions set by Allah. 

249. (with a view to transgressing therri), i. e., do not go beyond these 
Divine limits even so slightly. 

250. i. e:, as in this instance. 

251. (and commandments). 

252. (*; e., for the good of mankind). 

253. (and learn to beware of infringing His ordinances). 

254. i. e., each other's property. 

255. Or 'inquiry'. This puts a stop to all kinds of fraudulent and dishonest 
dealings in the community. 

256. i. e., false and concocted cases ; perjured suits. (Th.) The pronoun {$ 
may as well refer to 'substance'. The rendering in that case would be: 'nor convey 
it unto the judges'. 

257. (that you are acting against your conscience). 'In these words we have 
another example of the way in which Muhammad urged upon his followers the duty 
of dealing justly with each other'. (Roberts, Social laws of the Qpran, p. 108). 
*SlsJl J| &) Lj K[ means, 'He gave, or presented, or offered, his property to the 
judge'. Anid the phrase in the next means, 'And do not give it, or offer it, as a 
bribe to the judges: or, and do not endeavour to conciliate with it the judges in 
order that they cut off for you what is the right of others' (LL) . 

258. (O Prophet!) 

259. t. e., concerning the use of their Waxing and waning, the meaning of 
their phases. 

260. i. e., for their general benefit and in the exercise of their voluntary 
legal acts, such as ascertaining and determining the waiting period of divorce. The 
moon has always been recognized as a 'measure of time,' and in English the very 
word is derived from the root me-, 'to measure.' At the dawn of history it was the 
only time-measure, perhaps owing to its rapid motion and the ease with which its 
position could be located in the sky. 'The period of the moon's monthly changes 
provides an obvious means of dividing up time into months of thirty days or so. In 
Babylonia, the year . . . began when the crescent moon was first seen in the spring. 
The Egyptian year also contained twelve months of thirty days derived from 
the length of a lunation. The ancient Jewish calendar was of the usual lunar 
type with twelve months, each of which began with the first visibility of 

122 Part II 

the crescent moon/ (Gregory, Religion in Science and Civilization, p. 101) 

■261. i. e., to show its season, and for other similar fixed and obligatory acts 

of devotion reckoned by lunar months. That is all. This strikes at the root of 

festal rejoicings and sacrifices attending' the appearance of the new moon in ancient 

lunar cults. 

262; 'The Arabs had a superstitious custom after they had been at Mecca 

(in pilgrimage, as it seems), on their return home, not to enter their house by the 

old door, but to make a hole through the back part for a passage, which practice is 

here reprehended/ (Sale) 

263. (and entering the houses by their doors is not forbidden by Him, so 
abstaining from it cannot be a form' of piety). 

264. (in utter disregard of all superstition). 

265. (both in this world and the Next). Two entirely distinct, rather 
mutually destructive, emotions are covered by the same word /fear/ One is baser, 
selfish and servile, always arising out of thoughts of danger to self. Fear, in this 
sense, is negatived in the Qur'an of ail righteous and godly persons, in verses like 
the following, reiterated again and again :— 

'No fear shall come upon them, nor will they grieve/ 

But there exists also a noble, higher and disinterested variety of fear, which 
has its roots not in cowardice or timidity at all but in man's feeling of awe at what 
his Lord is, and in his contemplating his own utter insignificance and unworthiness. 
Fear in this sense, attracts ; it does not repel. It has the effect of drawing the man 
closer and closer to his Lord ; and he entirely surrenders himself to His will. It is 
tliis 'fear of Allah' that is inculcated in a thousand and one ways in the Qur'an, 
and is described as the master-key to all success : "Fear Allah that ye may thrive/' 

266. (O Muslims!) 

267. t. e. f in the cause of His true Religion ; in the cause of truth, justice, 
equity and humanity. To combat the dark forces of polytheism, superstition, 
perfidy, irreligion, and religious persecution ; and not for the greed of booty or for 
self-aggrandisement, nor yet to extend the 'sphere of influence' of this country or 
that. Is the extermination of moral evil, in any sense, an unworthy object of 
war ? .. 

268. (violating the truce they had signed themselves). The Muslims, after 
having borne with almost superhuman fortitude for years and years untold persecu- 
tion at the hands of the pagan republic of Makka, are now for the first .time 
enjoined to take to reprisals. 'For full thirteen years the Muslims were subjected 
to relentless persecutions in Mecca. The Prophet and his followers fled for life to 
Medina, which is over 150 miles from Mecca, but the enemy would not leave them 
alone in their refuge. They came to attack them within a year, and the first three 
great battles were fought in the very locality which will show whether the Prophet 
was an assailant or defendant.' (Headley, The Original Church of Jesus Christ and 

//. Surat-ul-Baqarah 123 

Islam, p. 155). The Makkans had signed a truce and were the first to break it. The 
words 'fight with those who fight against you* clearly show, first, that the Muslims 
were not the aggressors, and secondly, that those of the enemy who were not actual 
combatants — children, women, monks, hermits, the aged arid the infirm, the maim- 
ed, and the like, had nothing at ail to fear from the Muslim soldiery. 

It was in the light of this express divine injunction that the great Abu Bakr 
(of blessed memory), the first Caliph (successor of the Prophet), charged his troops 
in Syria, 'not to mutilate the dead, nor to slay old men, women, and children, nor 
to cut down fruit-trees, nor to kill cattle unless they were needed for food ; and 
these humane precepts served like a code of laws of war during the career of 
Mohammadan conquest/ (Bosworth Smith, op. cit., p. 185). Has not Islam thus, 
in prescribing war against those who break God's laws, challenge His righteous 
authority, and fill the world with violence and injustice, made every concession short 
of the impossible ? Has any code of military ethics been so chivalrous, so humane, 
and so tender towards the enemy? 'The moral tone adopted by the Caliph 
Abu Bakr, in his instructions to the Syrian army, was/ says a modern Christian 
historian, 'so unlike the principles of the Roman government, that it must have 
commanded profound attention from a subject people . . . Such a proclamation 
announced to Jews and Christians' sentiments of justice and principles of toleration 
which neither Roman emperors nor orthodox bishops had ever adopted as the rule 
of their conduct/ (Finlay, Greece Under the Romans, pp. 367-368) 

269. i. e., do not violate the truce yourselves; honour your word (Th.) ; do 
not step beyond the limits of the law. Compare and contrast the war laws of the 
Bible: — 'And they, stopped all the wells of water, and felled all the good trees/ 
(2 Ki. 3 ; 25) 'For six months did Joab remain there with all Israel, until ne had 
cut off every male in Edom/ (1. Ki. 11 : 16) : 'Now go and smite Amalek, and 
utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and 
woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass/ (1. Sa. 15 : 3) 

270. (of the Divine command by stepping beyond its limits). 

124 Part II 

191. (^jy»X)\ . . . ^^JUil .) And kill them 871 wherever you come upon 
them/ 272 and drive them out whence they drove you out ; and mischief 273 is more 
grievous 274 than bloodshed. And do not fight them near the Sacred Mosque 
unless they fight you therein, but if they do fight you there, 275 then kill them. 
That is the recompense of the infidels 276 

192. (1#L) . . . .li) Then if they desist 277 then 278 surely Allah is For- 
giver/ 279 Merciful/ 2 * 

193. ( .^JUbJi . . .' a&^XJj *) And fight them until there is no more mis- 
chief, 281 and the obedience 282 is to Allah. 2 ** So if they desist 284 then there is 
to be no violence save against the ungodly 9 * 5 . 

194. ( d *AXJl £* . : ./ f i^sjV^) A sa cred 286 month is in exchange 
for a sacred month' 287 : these sacredness are in return. 288 Whoso therefore offers 
violence to you/ 289 offer violence to him the like of his violence to you 290 and fear 
Allah, 291 and know that Allah is with the Godfearing.' 2 * 2 

195. ( /ajUsuJU '. . . i jAkJ] 5 ) And spend in the way of Allah, 29:{ and do 
not cast yourselves with your hands \n perdition, 294 and do well/ 295 surely Allah 

Joves the well-doers/ 296 

271. *'. e*, those who violated the truce and took up arms to extirpate both 
the Muslims and Islam. 

272. (during the period of belligerency). 

273. (of irreligion and impiety). The word covers, u 11 tne P an °f tne 
Makkans, a number of other such crimes over and above the grossest forms of 
idplatry, as treachery, perfidy, wanton persecution of the Muslims, and aggression 
in fighting. 

274. i. e. } causing greater harm; leading to graver consequences. There are 
evils far worse than war; and it is to combat manfully these greater evils that war 
is allowed, and sometimes enjoined in Islam. Even the Jains, the religious pacifists 
of India, to whom all forms of violence are repugnant* hold that 'wars are designed 
by the Mysterious Unseen for bringing the recalcitrant peoples to book/ 

//. Surat-ul-Baqarah 125 

275. (then and there). The inviolability of the Ka'ba and its precincts is 
to be kept intact, except under tne pressure of sheer self-defence. 

276. (who have no scruple even in violating the sanctity of the Ka'ba). 

277. (from infidelity even now, and repent). Once the aggressive infidels 
have started war it is not their mere laying down of arms that £an terminate it, but 
the giving up of infidelity which alone can ensure salvation implied in the words, 
'Forgiving' and 'Merciful/ 

278. (their Islam is not to be held as of no account). 

279. So He will forgive their infidelity in the past. 

280. So he will bestow on .them further favours. 

281. (of idolatry), i. e., until the pagans' .power for mischief is entirely 
crushed, and the suzerainty of Islam is established. 

282. ^ is primarily 'Obedience/ not /religion/ And &j[) vj^Jl means 
Obedience to, and service of God/ (LL) 

283. . Islam is the religion wholly Allah's. So the injunction in effect is this : 
fighjt these groups of infidels until they surrender to the authority of Islam. Idolatry 
in Arabia must be extirpated and the religion of God be established. 'Muslims 
have certainly no more reason to be ashamed of the use of force during their past 
history than the nations of the West who forcibly suppress immoral traffic in women, 
drug traffic, exploitation of labour or the cremation of widows on the funeral pyres 
of their husbands ... The fact remains that the sword of Islam has very consider- 
ably contributed to the moral and material progress of mankind ; and it is not for 
Muslims to apologise for their ancestors who took it up in the service of humanity/ 
(ASB. 1, p. 79) 

284. (from infidelity). 

285. i. e,, those who still persist in their wrong-doing. 

286. (wherein it is unlawful to make war). The ancient Arabs held four 
months in the year, Muharram, Rajab, Zul-Qa'da and Zul-Hijja, .as sacred, 
during which they held it unlawful to wage war. 

287. i, e., is so held only in reprisal. The Muslims were in danger of being 
attacked by the Makkans in the sacred month of Zul-Qa'da. Here they are bidden 
to make reprisals, if needful, in that very season, as the sacredness of months is only 

288. i. «., governed by the law of returning like for like. 

289. (in this season, impoverishing its sanctity). 

290. i. *., pay him in the same coin ; requite him. 

291. (lest you may exceed the proper limits of the law). 

292. i. e., those who are strictly regardful of their duties towards man and 
God ; men of true piety. 

293. i. e m> in the wars of religion ; in ways that lead to God. 

294. (by withholding your contributions to the national funds at the time, 

126 Pan II 

you are attacked by the enemy). The address is to the Muslim community collec- 
tively. To create in mind a disinclination to Jihad ox the obligatory religious war, 
and to fail to contribute to its funds, is to court national disaster, and to prepare the 
way for national suicide. According to some ^ is here redundant, and ^Xj^jI 
means *C*aJL So the rendering would be 'And cast ye not yourselves to predition/ 
According to others +&»&] 1S understood, and the rendering would be as adopted in 
the text. 

295. I e., whatever good you do, do it with perfectly pure motives, what- 
ever of your substance, for instance, you wish to contribute, do it cheerfully and not 

296 f The conception of God in Islam is not that of an inert, passive, First 
Cause, doing nothing and liking and disliking nothing. The God of Islam actively 
likes, loves and rewards. 

//. Surat-ul-Baqarah -127. 

196. (c>Uuji.-- . ♦ V 5 ' j) Arid fulfil the Hajj 297 and 'Umra 298 for Allah. 299 
And if you be besieged, 300 send whatever offering 1,01 you can afford, 302 and shave 
not your heads 30 ' until the offering reaches its destination. 304 Then whoso of you 
is ill or has hurt in his head 305 for him is an expiation. by -fasting 306 or alms 807 or a 
rite. 308 Then when you are secure, 309 whoso combines 'Umra with Hajj for him* 10 
is* whatever offering is easy. And whoso 311 cannot afford 312 then the expiation is 
a fast of three days dgring the Hajj 313 and of seven when you return; 314 these are 
ten days 3 * 5 complete. This 316 -is for him whose family does not dwell near the 
Sacred Mosque 31, And fear Allah, and know that surely Ailah is Stern in 
chastising. 318 

297. 'This great international gathering, attended by thousands of pilgrims 
every year, not only from adjacent countries but from such distant places as China, 
Senegal, or Cape Town, is an impressive manifestation of the unity of the Muslim 
world, and serves to keep alive the feeling of brotherhood iri Islam.. The same 
thought is impressed upon those Muslims who have been unable themselves to make 
the pilgrimage, in that on the very same day in which the sacrifices are' being 
performed outside the city of Mecca, the faithful In every other part of the world 
celebrate the Feast of Sacrifice in a similar fashion, and are thus linked by bonds of 
sympathy with their more fortunate brethren in the sacred city/' (Arnold, The 
Islamic Faith, p. 37). 'The pilgrimage proved in the end a great aid in unification, 
for the men of every tribe and race met at Mecca with a common purpose, and in a 
common worship, and a feeling of brotherhood could not but be engendered in the 
process/ (Denison, op. cit.,p. 275) 'Down through the ages this institution has 
continued to serve as the major unifying influence in Islam and the most effective 
common bond among the diverse believers. It rendered almost every capable 
Moslem perforce a traveller for once in his life-time. The socializing influence of 
such a gathering of the brotherhood of believers from the four quarters of the earth 
is hard to over-estimate. It afforded opportunity for Negroes, Berbers, Chinese, 
Persians, Syrians, Turks, Arabs— rich and poor, high and low — to fraternize and 
meet together on the common ground of faith/ (Hitti, op. ciL, p. 136). 

128 Part II 

298. 'Umra is a respectful visit to Ka'ba that may be performed, unlike 
Hajj, at any time of the year, with fewer rites and ceremonies than Hajj proper. 
While the Hajj is obligatory on every Muslim who possesses the means necessary for 
the journey,' 'Umra is only an act of additional merit. See n. 89 above. 

299. i. *..,.. to win His approval, with pure motives, and with due observance 
of all conditions, ^<»Jl Xi$\ according to some means that the money, or the like 
that one expends in performing the pilgrimage, should be lawfully obtained, and 
that one should refrain from doing what God has forbidden/ (LL) 

300. (either by disease or enemy) jUao.! signifies 'being prevented from 
attending the religious rites and ceremonies of pilgrimage, by disease, or the 
like/ (LL) 

301. (to be slaughtered in the sacred precincts of Makka). This animal 
sacrifice (usually a goat or a sheep) is an important rite in the performance of 

302. (to obtain). 

303. (which marks the completion of the Hajj rites and ceremonies). 
Shaving of the head is, in Islam, an act of rejoicing rather than a mourning rite as 
among the Hindus and other polytheistic nations. 

304. i. e., within the sacred precincts known as Haram. 

305: (and is therefore obliged to shave his head before the prescribed time) 

306. (for three days). 

307. i.e., the feeding of six paupers. 

308. , i. e., the offering of one goat at least. 

309. (either after the removal of danger, or without encountering it at all). 

310. i. e m , for such persons alone as combine 'Umra (the lesser pilgrimage) 
with Hajj (the greater pilgrimage) and not for those who perform either of them 

311. (of them; of those who combine the two devotions). 

312. (any offering at all). 

313. The last date of which period is the 9th of Zul-Hijja. 

314. i. e. 9 when all the rites of Hajj are terminated, and is usually the time 
for return, whether one actually returns or stays on). 

315. (of fasting). - ' 

316. i. e., this combination of the two devotions. 

317. i. e., this combination of the two devotions is allowable only to those 
who are foreigners, and not residents within the sacred area or Haram. 

318. (those who wantonly violate the Divine law). 

Surat-ul-Baqarah 129 



197. (lAJ - JJ . • . ^vrsJ !) The season of Hajj is the months known ; 319 
so whoever enjoins upon himself Xhe Hajj therein 320 there is 321 to be no lewd- 
ness 322 nor wickedness nor disputing during the Hajj; 323 and whatever good you 
do Allah shall know it. 324 And take provision for the journey; 325 surely the best 
provision is piety, 328 and fear Me, men of understanding .: 

198. ( ^JU&J' f . . . -j^O No- fault it is in you if you seek grace from 
your Lord 327 by trading. Then when you press on from 'Arafat 328 remember 
Allah near the sacred monument. 329 Remember Him as He has guided you, 330 
and you were before of those astray. 

199. (*xa> ) . . . fj) Then press 331 on from where the other people press 
on, and ask forgiveness of Allah; 322 surely Allah is Forgiving, 333 Merciful. 334 

200. (jUsL . . . \<yl}) And when you have completed your rites, 335 
remember Allah as you remember your fathers 336 or with a stronger remem- 
brance. 337 And of mankind there are some who say : -our Lord : give us 338 our 
portion in the world'; 339 and for such there shall be no portion in the Hereafter. 

2C1. ()U.H . . . ^JU .) And of them there are some who say : 'our 
Lord I give us good 340 in the world and good in the Hereafter, 341 and save us from 
torment of the Fire'. 342 

319. i. *., Shawwal, Zul-Qa'da, and the first ten days of Zul-Hijja. 

320. (and wears accordingly the Ihram, or the seamless, unsewn robe of the 

321. (to be for him). 

322. (even in language ; much less in deed). The injunction is in striking 
contrast with the absolutely lewd and obscene rites and practices in the pre-Islamic 
hajj, and also with the conditions prevailing in the modern festivals and large 
religious gatherings of the polytheistic peoples. 

323. (the pilgrim, on the other hand, should constantly occupy himself with 

130 Part II 

good deeds) . 

324. (and shall reward you accordingly). 

325. (when proceeding to Makka, on pilgrimage). The pagans thought it 
an act of great merit and piety to go to Makka, unprovided for, in a state of 

326. 'from begging' (Th.) or 'piety.' 

327. (and an increase in your prosperity by trading during the pilgrimage) 
The economic benefits, accruing from an injunction like this, both to the individual 
and to the community, are too obvious to need any comment. 

328. (in the return journey, after making the . prescribed stay there). 
'Arafat is a plain, miles wide, round a small 'Hill of Mercy' rising only about 200 
feet above the adjoining. plain, about 12 miles from* Makka on the road to Taif. 
It is here that the essential ceremony of the Hajj, called cJ^» or 'standing' has to' 
be performed on the 9th of Zul-Hijja, any time from midrday till evening. 'The 
plain of 'Arafat spreads southwards from the hill of 'Arafat and is bounded on the 
east by the lofty mountain chain of Taif. It is covered by a low growth of mimosa 
plants, and is filled with life only on one day of the year (9 Dhu 3 /- Hidjdj 'a) when 
the pilgrims pitch their camps for the celebration of the prescribed wukuf.' (EI. I. 
p. 418) 

329. 'Near the sacred monument' means the ground bordering on it in 
Muzdalfa, where, immediately after the return from 'Arafat in the evening of the 
9th Zul-Hijja night prayer is said, and night is spent. 

330. (and not as suits your fancy). Note the insistence which the injunction 
to 'remember God' receives in connection with the Hajj ceremonies. 

331. (all of you, not excluding the Quraish). The conceited clan of the 
Quraish in the pre-Islamie days considered it* beneath their dignity to proceed to 
'Arafat, and used to stay on in Muzdalfa. 

332. In addition to the repeated commands to remember God, here is a 
command to ask His forgiveness. Can any pilgrimage be more purificatory ..?. 

333. (so He will forgive sins when one asks His forgiveness). 

334. (so He will show mercy to the sinner when he is penitent). 

335. 'The foremost goal of this pilgrimage is the assembling of Muslims from 
different parts of the world. They shall learn to understand one another and know 
the needs of Muslim countries other than their own. And this is the practical 
method of promoting the great Commonwealth of Islam, the brotherhood of men 
bound together by the same ideal of devotion to God, whose Oneness, as also the 
unity of all Muslims, are symbolised in the qiblah of Mecca.' (ASB. I. p. 40) 

336. i. e., glorify God as you used to glorify the deeds of your forefathers in 
the pagan days. This is for the third time that the injunction to 'remember God' is 

337i This is how Islam succeeded in effecting far-reaching reforms, and 

//. SUrat-ul-Baqarah 131 

IBaM ^ BMIiaBHBBapiaaHIBBiaaHaaaai i aiiaaBaaa , aaM ^^ 

metamorphosed morally and spiritually the entire Arab nation. There is a clear 
hint in the verse that our association with our God should be at least as lively and 
as realistic as with our parents. 

338. (i.e. our gifts). 

339. Some of the pagan Arabs did not believe in the Resurrection and the •. 
Hereafter; so their prayers while performing the pilgrimage were confined to the 
gifts of this world. 

340. i. e. y whatever is approved of by Thee; whatever is good in Thy sight ; 
whatever is pleasing to Thee. (Th.) 

341. Note the object desired and. sought in prayer is not 'the world' at all, 
but 'good', and 'good* only in whatsoever it may be found — whether in this world 
or in the Next. (Th*) Contrast with this the Christian concept embodied in the 
reported saying of the Christ : — 'My kingdom is not of this world/ (Jn. 18 : 36) 

342. An ideal prayer, favourite of .the holy Prophet, combining in two brief 
sentences all the blessings of this world and the Next. And this has led to the 
perplexed remark of a Christian writer:— 'This is one of the most puzzling 
paradoxes in Islam. As to recognizing, using and enjoying this world, Islam is a 
most practical religion) but on its doctrine of salvation, it is absolutely and entirely 
other-worldly/ (Macdonald, Religious Life and Attitude in Islam, p. 43.) 

Part II 

202. (cjLus&M ... lS£)J) These are the ones for whom there will be a 
share 343 for what they have earned, 344 and Allah is Swift at reckoning. 

203. ( # , . ^saj? . . . I r 5ti\ .) And remember Allah on the days num- 
bered. 345 Then whosb hastens 346 away even in two days, 347 on him is no sin, and 
whoso stays on, 348 on him is no sin, 340 — this for him who fears God 350 And fear 
Allah, 351 and know that to Him you will be gathered 

204 LLosaM . . . ^y* .) And of mankind is he 352 whose discourse for 
the purpose of this world 353 thou admirest 354 and he takes Allah to witness 355 as 
to what is in his heart/while he is the most contentious of opponents. 356 

205. (^t^i'l . . . til •) And when he turns away he speeds through the 
land so that he may make mischief therein and destroy the tillage and the stock. 357 
And Allah approves not mischief. 

206. (at^J!-.,. . li! .) And when he is told : 'fear Allah', arrogance 358 
prompts him to sin Enough for him is Heil : surely an ill resort ! 

207. (a.tjjdtj.. . . ^ J And of mankind is he 359 who sells his life seek- 
ing the pleasure of Allah, and Allah is Tender to His servants. 360 

343. (in both the worlds). 

344. (and for which they have longed). 

345. i. *., on the 10th, 11th and 12th of Zul-Hijja, in Mina, a suburb of 
Makka about 3 miles, due north. Note that the injunction to remember God is 
reiterated once more. 

346. (to Makka). 

347. i. e. s after only two days' stay in Mina. 

348. i. e„ stays on for the third day in Mina. 

349. (as both procedures are equally allowable). 

350. i. e.y all these injunctions are for those who are regardful, of 
their duties to God ; only the God-fearing will profit by them. 

351. i.. e m) rest assured. 

352. i. e. y the hypocrite. 

//. Surat-ul-Baqarah 133 

353. i. e. 9 with a view to dissembling his unbelief. 

354. (O Prophet ! for its fair words). 
,355. (falsely all the while). 

356. (of God). 

357. (by setting fire to somebody's corn, or by killing his neighbour's asses). 
So. great is his love of mischief and wickedness, and so anti-social are his proclivi- 
ties ! 

358. 'i. e, y false sense of self-respect or prestige. 

359. i, e. y the true believer. 

360. (having solicitude, senstive regard and compassionate care for them). 

134 Part II 

M^JJtJt . , *Js*~* 

208. ( ..A** . . . 1|jIjY.Q you who believe! enter into Islam 361 wholly, 362 
and do not follow the foot-steps of Satan; 383 surely he is to you an enemy 
manifest. 264 

209- ((KxXa. . . . JLj ) Then if you slip 365 after what has come to you of 
the evidences, know that Allah is Mighty, 366 Wise. 367 

'2ft). (>^5I • . . Ja) Do they 368 await only that Allah shall come to 
them in the shadows of the clouds 369 and also the angels, 370 and the affair is 
already decreed? 371 And to Allah are all affairs returned. 372 


211. (l^UuJ! . .- . ,L) Ask thou 373 the Children of fsra'U, how many a 
manifest sign 374 We brought to them. 3 * 5 And whoso alters the favour of Allah 376 
after it has come to him, 377 then surely Allah is Stern in chastising 378 

212. (l^Usw . . . ^5) Fair-seeming is made the life of this world 379 to 
those who disbelieve, and they scoff at those who believe, whereas those who 
fear God shall be above them 380 on the Day of Judgment. And Allah provides 381 
whom 382 He will without measure 383 

361. ^JU, literally is 'peace, reconciliation, self-resignation or submission/ 
And JUJI wfth the definite article, is synonymous with JW! as meaning the 
religion of the Muslims; because it is a religion of self-resignation, or submission/ 

362. t . e. accept, and act on, the law of Islam in its every little detail. 
'Islam embraces life in its totality. It takes World and Hereafter, soul and body, 
individual and society, equally into consideration/ (Muhammad Asad, Islam on the 
Crossroads, pp. 119-120). It is, to use a word of recent origin, totalitarian. 'By a 
million roots/ says a Christian observer, 'penetrating every phase of life, all of them 
with religious significance, it is able to maintain its hold upon the life of the Moslem 
peoples/ The secular and the religious, the material and the spiritual are not 
separated in the all-inclusive system of Islam. Whatever may be true of other 

II.Surat-ul-Baqarah 135 

faiths and creeds, in Islam religion is the very breath of life ; it matters above 
everything ; it is the mainspring of a Muslim's conduct. The address is to the new 
converts from Judaism in particular. 

363. (by accepting the code of Islam only in part). Islam calls for the 
complete transformation of personality ; and a convert to Islam must be renewed in 
every corner of his being. 

364. (suggesting innovations and modification in God's perfect scheme of 
laws and ordinances). The exhortation is priniarily addressed to such Jewish and 
Arab converts as had not adopted all the rites and customs of the new religion and 
had still scruples about some of them. 

365. (from the true path). 

366. i. e., Able to inflict any punishment any moment. 

367. (Who punishes only at the right moment). 

368. *. *., the infidels. 

369. The reference is to the anthropomorphic conception of the Jews who 
held the clouds as the chariot of God. Cf. the Bible:— 'Bless the Lord, O my 
soul . .... Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters : who maketh the 
clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind/ (Ps. 104; 1,-3). 
'Behold, the Lord rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt/ (Is. 
19: 1). 

370. (as the ministers of His judgment). 

371. The meaning is: Do they await the hour when repentance will not 
avail and declaration of belief will not benefit ? 

372. (for requital and judgment). 

373. (O Prophet!) 

374. (of Our special favour). 

375. (as also how uniformly they have maintained their attitude of rebel- 

376. To alter the favours of Allah is to misuse His gifts, and instead of 
profiting by His clear signs and obtaining guidance from them, to pervert and 
misinterpret them deliberately. 

377. (and they are, in many instances, endowed with the cherished posses- 
sions of this world) . 

378. (both in this world and the Next). 'The fear of incurring this punish- 
ment is one of the reasons why Muslims have been so scrupulously careful to pre- 
serve the text of the Quran.' (Rev. E. M. Wherry). 

379. (with abundance). 

380. (in rank and station). 

381. (with sustenance, and in abundance) in accordance with His universal 

382. (of His creatures). 

383. (so mere material prosperity is no criterion of happiness, and an 
exuberance of wealth is by no means a measure of moral worth, whether of indivi- 
duals or of communities and nations). 

136 Pari II 

213. (^a£uv# . .. ♦»£) Mankind was one community 384 thereafter 385 
Allah raised prophets 386 as bearers of glad tidings 387 and warners, 388 and He sent 
down with them the -Book 389 with truth so that He may judge 390 between 
mankind respecting what they disputed. And none disputed thereof 391 save those 
to whom it 392 was given 393 after the evidences had come to them, 394 out of spite 
among themselves. 395 Then Allah guided those who believed in the truth of that 
respecting which they 396 disputed, by His leave. 397 Allah guides whom He will 
to a path straight. 

214. (i^jys . . . , !) Do you 398 imagine that you will enter the Garden 399 
while yet there has not come upon you the like of what came upon those who 
have passed away before you ? 400 There touched them adversity and distress, 
and so shaken were they, 401 that even their Messenger 402 and those who believed 
with him said : 403 'when comes the help of Allah ?' 404 Lo I surely Allah's help 
is nigh. 405 

384. (originally, following the one true religion). This implies that 
originally there was but one religion in the world — the religion of Monotheism. 
Contrary to the conclusions arrived at by an older generation of scientists and 
pseudo-scientists, recent discoveries both in Archaeology and Anthropology have 
proved that monotheism, not polytheism, was the religion of the oldest races of 
mankind. 'The evidence of Anthropology/ says a leading archaeologist of the day, 
Sir Charles Marston, 'will be cited in these columns to prove that the original 
religion of the early races was actually Monotheism or something very like it/ (The 
Bible is True, p. 25) 'The theory of the evolution of Religion is contradicted by 
the evidence of both Archaeology and Anthropology/ (p- 29) 'This is the very careful 
and deliberate conclusion of Dr. Langdon, Professor of Assyriology at Oxford, pro- 
bably the greatest living authority on cuneiform literature ..... As a result of his 
excavations^ Kish, Dr. Langdon writes : "In my opinion, the history of the oldest 
religion of man is a rapid decline from monotheism to extreme polytheism and 

/. Surat-ul-Baqarah 137 

wide-spread belief in evil spirits. It is in a very true sense the history of the fall of 
man." (pp. 58, 61) 'Thus is the evidence,, from those most ancient libraries of 
cuneiform tablets, that Monotheism was the original religion. And there is confir- 
mation of this great fact from other sources, especially from the Science of 
Anthropology. Along with this is the evidence of a universal belief in a Future 
Life/ (p. 265) C I may fail to carry conviction in concluding that, both in Sumerian 
and Semitic religions, monotheism preceded polytheism and belief in good and evil 
spirits. The evidence and reasons for this conclusion, so contrary to accepted and 
current views have been set down with care and with the perception of adverse 
criticism. It is; I trust, the conclusion of knowledge and not of audacious precon- 
ception/ (Langdon, Semitic Mythology, Introduction",, p. xviii). See also p. ix. 
n. 280: xxv. n. 45. 

385. i. e., when self-interest and iniquity had created schisms and divisions 
and the Divine truth had been obscured. 'Monotheism in the Old Testament, and 
Islamic Monotheism, were not the results of direct evolution from polytheism. It 
was a false conception of the history of religions to suppose that polytheism was 
necessarily connected with low types of culture. In fact polytheism was character- 
istic of the greatest cultures of antiquity, but it. grew out of monotheism, and was 
only a theological interpretation of primitive monotheism/ (Dr. Langdon, quoted in 
Marston's Bible Comes Alive, p. 26). See also Schmidt's Origin and Growth of 

386. (to unite the people on the path of truth). 

387. (to the believers). 

388. (to the rejecters). 

389. 'Book/ singular in form, is here plural in meaning, denoting as a 
generic noun, all Divine Books. 

390. (thereby: with the Divine Book as the criterion). 

391. i. *., concerning the very Scriptures themselves. 

392. i. *., the Book. 

393. i. e., religious leaders and men of the priestly class who are the first 
and foremost custodians of all Scriptures. 

394. . (and they had fully understood them. This makes their offence all the 
more serious. 

395. (and not out of any honest intellectual difference of opinion). This 
mutual spite and strife is always caused by scramble for wealth and power^ which in 
its turn is the direct outcome of materialism or love for this world. (Th.). 

396. f. e. 9 the rejecters of faith. 

397. (and the believers are thus spared the distraction caused by doubts and 

398. (O Muslims !) The words are primarily addressed to the 'Makkan 
emigrants suffering grievously from poverty and hunger. 

138 Part II 

399. (without any tail or trial). 

400. Entry into Heaven presupposes some measure of sufferings — maybe in 
certain cases, exceedingly slight — either mental or physical in this world. The 
higher one's spiritual ambitions, the greater the trials and tribulations one is expect- 
ed to undergo. And none could be greedier of spiritual advancement than the 
Muslims of the Prophet's time, his 'companions/ Hence their readiness to undergo 
the hardest afflictions in the service of God's religion. 

401. Cf. the Bible :— 'The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold ; 
but the Lord trie th the hearts/ (Fr. 17-3) 'Many are the afflictions of the righteous,' 
(Ps. 34: 19). 'We must through much tribulation enter the kingdom of God.' 
(Ac. 14:22) 

402. (of his time). 

403. (overwhelmed with sorrow and gloom). 

404. (which is promised to us). This is how they prayed. Not that they 
were at all sceptical of the arrival of Divine assistance but its precise time being riot 
revealed to them, they naturally began to pray for it with extreme fervour. (Th.). 

405. This is how their prayer was answered. The Muslims of the holy 
Prophet's time are heartened thereby with the approaching triumph of their cause. 

II. Surat-ul-Baqarah 139 

215. (**JU.. . • UJ ,JL.w ; "hey 406 ask thee 4tf7 as to how 408 they will spend. 
Say thou : 'whatever you spend of wealth, 409 let it be for parents and kindred 
and orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, 410 and whatever good you do, 
surely Allah is Knower thereof, 411 . ■ 

21 6 * (&***> • • s****) 0rdained for y° u ,s fighting, 412 abhorrent as it 
may be to you. 413 Haply you abhor a thing while it is good for you, 414 and haply 
you desire a thing, while it is bad for you. Allah knows 415 and you do not 
know. 416 

406. i. e.y some of the Muslims. 

407. (O Prophet!) 

408. i. e., as to the amount what, and the occasion when, ) £ is sometimes, as 
here, synonymous with ^ ^j J 

409. (according to your means). .1^ is here 'wealth' or 'substance/ and 
not 'good' as misinterpreted by several translators of the Qur'an. 

410. A perfectly natural and rational order to beneficence, descending from 
the parents and near relatives to strangers, and taking in its fold every conceivable 
case of need. 

411. (and shall reward accordingly) . 

412. War, it has been truly said, is sanctioned by the law of nature — the 
constitution of man and the constitution of society— and is at times a biological and 
sociological necessity. Islam, the ideal practical religion, has allowed it, but only in 
cases of sheer necessity. In Christianity, 'the coming Day of the Lord is associated 
with terrible wars ... In the Epistles, St. Paul shows in a dozen references to a 
soldier's career that he looked at it with interest and even with sympathy. ' (DB. IV 
p. 895) And speaking historically, the contrast, says a Christian writer, between 
the Christian and the Muslim warriors 'has not been so sharp as is often supposed. 
The Saxon wars of Charles the Great were avowedly religious wars, and differed 
chiefly from the Syrian wars of Omar and of Ali . . . in that they were much more 

1401 Part II 

protracted and vastly less successful/ (Bosworth Smithy op. city pp. 184-85) See 
n. 267 ff. above. _ 

413. Persecuted, harassed, afflicted, poverty-ridden, exiled, and small in 
numbers as the Muslims were at the time of the enactment of warfare, it was but 
natural that they were none too fond of crossing swords with the mighty forces that 
had conspired for their extirpation. Nothing short of express and emphatic Divine 
command could urge them on to the field of battle. And yet the Islamic Jihads are 
declared to be * 'designed" by the Prophet "to satisfy his discontented adherents by 
an accession of plunder I" (Margoliouth) . Such is this European scholar's love of 
veracity! Such is his wonderful reading of history ! 

414. The reluctance on the part of Muslims, in some instances, may be due 
to the fact that the infidels they were asked to fight against, were their own relatives 

i fellow- townsmen. 

415. (the true inwardness of everything and its full effects). 

416. (so the safest and wisest course for you is to follow implicity the statutes 
of God). 

//. SUrat-ul Baqarah 141 


217. ( jji. . . . (jjjjU*^)- Tliey ask thee 417 of the sacred month, 418 of 
fighting therein. Say thou : 'fighting therein 41 * is grievous ; 420 but hindering 
people* 21 f rom the way of Allah and disbelief in Him and in the sanctity of the 
Sacred Mosque 422 and driving out its dwellers therefrom 423 are more grievous 424 
with Allah, 425 and mischief 426 is far more grievous 427 than blood-shed. 428 And 
they will not cease fighting you with a view to making you apostatize from your 
religion, if they could. 429 And he who among you apostatizes 430 from his faith 
and dies while he is an infidel,— then these are the very ones whose works shall 
be of no effect 431 in this world and the Hereafter, 432 and they shall be the inmates 
of the Fire. Therein they shall be abiders. 

218. (*o^ >.'... ^i) Surely those who have believed and those who 
have emigrated 433 and have striven hard in the way of Allah 434 all these hope for 
the mercy of Allah. And Allah is Forgiving, 435 Merciful. 436 

21 9 - (n> i j*** 5 • • -U^ jltu»j) The V ask thee * 37 °f wine 438 and gambling. 439 
say thou : 'in both is a great sin 140 and some benefit for men, 441 but the sin of 
them is greater than their benefit'. 442 And they ask thee as to what they shall 
spend. 443 Say thou : 'redundant portion'*** Thus does Allah expound to you 
His commandments so that you may ponder— 445 

220. (^x^ ... >) On this world 44 * and the Hereafter. And they 447 ask 
thee 448 of orphans. 440 Say thou : 'to set. right affair for them 450 is best. 451 If you 
mix with them, 452 then they are your brethren ; 453 Allah knows the foul-dealer 454 
from the fair-dealer. 455 And had Allah so willed, He could have afflicted you; 456 
surely Allah is Mighty, 457 Wise. 458 

417. (O Prophet!) 

418. u e. } Rajab, one of the four months held sacred by the Arabs. 

419. (knowingly), i. e. knowing it to be the month of Rajab. 

142 Part II 

42p. (which sin no Muslim has been guilty of). The pagans had charged a 
certain Muslim with killing a pagan on the 1st of Rajab. The Muslim's defence, 
perfectly sound, was that he took the day to be the last date of the preceding 
month, and did not know that the month of Rajab had commenced. 

421. (by subjecting them to the bitterest 'persecution)."'' 

422. (by planting images and idols in the sacred Kafba) The words 
J>sJl dusu*j! are grammatically coupled with the pronoun s in &, and not with 

423. (in a most cruel and heartless way). The pronoun in *JU,| refers to 
^a=u*j! and not to UJt Tne Prophet and the believers alone were competent to 
dwell within the sacred precincts. 

424. (than the accidental slaying of a pagan). 

425. (did it lie, then, in the mouth of pagans, who cared neither for the 
sanctity of the sacred months nor for that of the sacred territory, and respected 
neither human life nor property, wherever the terrible persecution and unspeakable 
oppression of the converts to Islam was concerned V. to seek refuge in the sanctity of 
the 'sacred month ?'). 

426. (in its effects) . • 

427. (particular and accidental) .'■■•■ 

428. See tin. 273 and 274 above. So 'the slaughter that Islam enjoins is to 
end all slaughter, terrorism, and moral disruption. And there is all the difference 
in the world between the force that is used to stop war and the force that is used to 
make -war. But in the words of a present-day Christian writer : ' We might as well 
say that the bludgeon of the policeman and the gun of the gangster are equally crimi- 
nal/ (A. G. Gardiner) 

429. This pictures the furious zeal of anti-Islamic forces of the time. 'The 
general war of extermination' was certainly organised and started, but not against the 
infidels, as Palmer imagines in ostensible innocence. It was organised and started 
by them against Islam. 

430. In the law of Moses, apostasy was punishable with death. 'If thy 
brother .... entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, . . .'.'thou 
shalt surely kill him ; . . ... And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die/ 
(Dt. 13: 6-10) 

And in Christianity, 'Wilful apostasy was, of course, an inexpiable offence, 
and ranked with murder and adultery/ (ERE, I, p. 623) 

431. (as rebellion in the end naturally annuls all previous deeds of loyalty 
and virtue). 

432. (in obvious consequence of their desertion of the true fai'h). In Islam, 
the penalty of apostasy as an offence both against the religion and the Islamic State 
is death, as ordained in the traditions of the Prophet. 

433. (from the territory of the infidels to a place of refuge on account of 

//, Surat-ut-Bagarah 143 

religious persecution, and in pursuance of their duty to God). 

434. &[a as a term of Islamic law, is readiness to secrifice life and posses- 
sions for the cause of Islam. Literally, it is 'the. using, or exerting one's utmost 
power, efforts, endeavours, or ability, in contending with an object of disapproba- 
tion !' (LL). 

435. (so He shall forgive accidental mistakes) . 

436. (so He shall reward them for their true faith and forced exile). 

437. (O Prophet!) 

438. >A ^ is 'any intoxicating thing, that clouds or obscures (lit. covers) the 
intellect/ and 'has a common application to : intoxicating compressed of juice of 
anything/ (LL) So the term 'wine' here is a synonym for all intoxicating drinks. 
The Jews of the Prophet's time were hard hit by the Qur'anic 'Prohibition* since 
the liquor trade was largely in their hands. And it is amusing to find a modern 
representative of that worthy race with pretension to Islamic learning and scholar- 
ship, narrate the incident with bewailing and sneering ill-concealed: — 'When the 
revelation rame, zealous followers went round the houses of the Moslems and 
emptied their .vessels of all liquor which was supposed to be intoxicating, in many 
cases breaking the vessels themselves; and trading Moslems who brought wine home 
from Syria after this event were compelled to pour their earnings away ; nor was 
milder treatment meted out to those orphans whose property had been invested by 
their guardians in wine. The prohibition was extended to vinegar made of wine and 
a categorical denial was given to the suggestion that wine had medicinal value/ 
(Margoliouth, Mohammad, p. 283) See also P. VII. nn. 31,38. 

439. y^x* originally 'the game, or play, with unfeathered and headless 
arrows' is, in. its wider acceptance, as here, any game of hazard; or play of stakes, 
or wagers, so that even the game of children with walnuts is included under this 
name by Mujahid.' (LL) It may shortly be defined as wagering money Or other 
valuable things upon the outcome of an event, or making money on some chance. 
The diffusion, both in the past and present, of the practice of gambling may be 
gauged from a persual of the following :— 'Games of chance are as old and as wide- 
spread as humanity . . . The Greeks already in Homer had their knuckle-bones . . . 
marked with numbers on four sides to serve as dice . .'. . Among the Romans, 
children played at "heads or tails'' with coins . . . . The Israelites used the draw- 
ing of lots to ascertain the Divine will in regard to such matters as assignation of 
lands, choice of an officer, determining the rotation of office or to identify an 
offender .... The gambling habit infected the purity of the early Christians. 
Instruments of gambling are found in their tombs .... On the Aryan races 
gambling has had a special hold." (ERE. VI. pp. 163-164). 'The extent to which 
gambling prevails at the present time is difficult to assess .... Most of it is centred 
in the horse-racing .... On the whole, it may safely be asserted that little short of 
£100,000,000 changes hands every year in England in connection with gambling 

144 Part II 

transactions/ (ib.) 'Despite laws against gambling in most states and territories, it 
continued openly in various sections until New York, in 1881-1884, launched an 
anti-gambling drive which was copied by many other cities. However, gambling is 
still prevalent under cover/ (CE. III. p. 826) And what shall one say of the Derby 
horse-race in England and of the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby races in 
America? See also P. VII, nn. 32, 39. ■■'... 

440. 'Side by side with the betting odds and betting tips, the newspapers 
record the tragic results on those who yield to the temptation. In 13 years (1895-6 
to 1906-7) there were 156 suicides or attempted suicides in England assigned to 
this case, as well as 719 cases of theft or embezzlement, and 442 bankruptcies/ 
(ERE. VI. p. 168) 

441. 'Alcohol's most useful sphere of action is as a solvent in industrial 
concerns. It has also some uses as an external application * (Dastur, Alcohol : Its Use 
and Misuse, pv 109). 

442. (and so both of them are to be interdicted). And Islam in fact has 
indicted both practices as injurious and as conducive only to individual and 
national demoralisation. The induction of prohibiripn iias had a lasting influence on 
the character of the Muslim society, and making allowance for occasional breaches, 
it has given to the Muslim community a general stamp of sobriety unknown 
elsewhere. The fact has been acknowledged even by unfriendly observers. 
'Mphammadanism may boast of a degree of temperance unknown to any other 
creed/ v (Muir, op. cit., p. 521) And at one of the Church Congresses held in 
England in recent years, Rev. Canon Issac Taylor has said : 'Islam, above all, is 
the most powerful total abstinence association in the world, whereas the extension of 
European trade means the extension of drunkenness and vice, and the degradation 
of the people/ And as regards gambling* even that inveterate enemy of Islam, 
D. S. Margoliouth of Oxford, is constrained to admit that the total abolition of this 
practice in Arabia was the 'most celebrated" of reforms effected by the Prophet 
(EBr. XVII. p, 407, 11th Ed.). 

443. (in voluntary charity). In verse 2 14 the question related to beneficia- 
ries ; here it relates to the amount to be spent. 

444. i.e., whatever can be spread without detriment to the necessities of 
one's own self or of those whose maintenance is obligatory on him. 

445b (in the execution of these commands). 

446. Note the Qur'anic injunction to reflect on "this world" as well on the 
"Next/' The point is that the more would one ponder on this world, the more 
would one be able to realise how ephemeral and how unreal it is in character, if 
pursued as a goal, yet how real and how precious, if viewed as a step towards the 
Eternal Life ! 

* 447. L e. 9 the guardians.' They, as true Muslims, hesitated to have anything 
to do with the property of their wards on receiving strict orders regarding its 

H, Surat-ul-Baqarah 145 


448. (O Prophet!) 

449. The orphan was not less than the slave the object of the Prophet's 
peculiar care, for he had been an orphan himself, and what God had done for him, 
he was anxious, so far as might be, to do for others/ (Bosworth Smith, op city 
p. 251) 

450. (and looking after their interests). 

451. i. e., the main object to be kept in view in every dealing you may have 
with them. 

452. (in their financial affairs as co-partners). 

453. (and so entitled to every love and affection). With equal fairness and 
considerateness are non-Muslim orphans also to be treated; if they happen to be a 
Muslim's wards. (Th.) 

454. Literally, the corrupter, i. e. he who wrongs the orphans. 

455. (so be always fair and considerate in your dealings with them, and 
beware of your duties towards them). ^JUuJl literally is the 'rectifier/ 

456. (by constraining you to do what would be difficult for you to perform, 
by issuing commandments involving hardship, such as prohibiting co-partnership 
with your wards altogether). ^ 

457. (so He could have issued any injunctions, however burdensome). 

458. (so He in His wisdom chose not to issue such commandments as were 
hard to perform). 

146 Part II 

r&jjgjt ^ ■ - rj>iw- 

221. ■ ('HjjJ&m •-• • i*) J And wed not idolatresses 459 until! they 
believe ; 460 and assuredly a believing slave-girl is better 461 than an idolatress, 462 
although she pleases you. 463 And wed not your women to idolaters until! they 
believe; and assuredly a believing slave is better 464 than an idolater, 465 although 
he pleases you. 466 These 467 call you to the Fire, while Allah calls you to the 
Garden and to forgiveness, by His leave. And He expounds His commandments 
to mankind that perhaps they may be admonished. 468 


222. ( . j^iou . . \ UJ ,jtfw ? ) And they ask thee 469 of menstruation. 470 
Say thou : It is a pollution, 471 so keep away from women during menstruation, 472 
and go not in unto them till they have cleansed themselves. 473 Then when they 
have thoroughly cleansed themselves 474 go in unto them 475 as Allah has directed 
you. 476 Surely Allah loves the repentants, 477 and He loves the cleansers of them- 
selves. 476 

223. L^JU^ .'. •fSflJ) Your women are a tillage 479 for you, then go 
in unto your tillage 480 as 481 you will, and provide beforehand for your souls. 482 
And fear Allah, 483 and know that you are going to meet Him, and give thou 
glad tidings 484 to the believers. 486 

459. ZSj&J] is literally a' woman who gives God an equal, or an 'idolatress/ 
but here it is used in a wider sense, meaning any woman who is an infidel. (Th.). 

460. Cf. the OT:— -'Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy 
daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy 
son. For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other 
gods.' (Dt. 7 : 3-4) 'And separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from 
the strange wives/ (Ez. 10:11). 'And in the spirit of 'Ezra's ordinance, late 
religious authorities .... interdicted matrimonial connections between Israelites and 
all Gentiles. This prohibition is the established law of the Talmud and the 
Rabbinical code/ (Westermarck, Short History of Marriage, pp. 56-57) And the 

II. Sdrat-ul-Baqarah 147 

NT : 'Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers ; for what fellowship hath 
righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness V 
(2 Co. 6: 14). 

461. (a thousand times). 

462. (free though she may be). 

463 . (on account of her wealth or beauty). 

464. (a thousand times); 

465. (free though he may be). 

466. (on account of his rank or substance). These restrictions do not apply 
to the Muslim marriage with Jew and Christian, women. They form a separate 
class— the people of the Book— and laws concerning them are dealt with in the 
Surah 'Ma'ida\ 

467. (infidel men and women) . 

468. The danger that a believer, after the intimate relationship of marriage; 
may be led into the path of infidelity and impiety is ever-present and ever-pressing. 

469. (O Prophet!) 

470. (and of cohabitation in that period). The phenomenon of menstruation, 
'though clearly a normal physiological process . . . yej evidently lies on the borders 
of pathological change/ (Geddes and Thomson, Evolution of Sex, p. 259). 

471. That the mental energy, as well as the muscular strength and dexterity 
even in the strongest, healthiest, and most determined women are usually somewhat 
impaired during the menstrual period itself is a fact that is familiar to most women. 
(Havelock Ellis, Man and Woman, p. 288) 'Even in perfectly healthy woman this 
affects the whole organism to a more or less marked degree .... There is increased 
nervous tension and greater muscular excitability ; reflex action is more marked and 
there may be slight twitchings of the legs; also yawning and stiffness in the neck, 
and sleep is heavier than usual. There is loss of appetite and a certain amount of 
digestive and intestinal disturbance with a tendency to flatulence/ (pp. 289-290). 
'On the psychic side, even in good health, there is another series of phenomena. 
There is greater impressionability, greater suggestibility, and more or less diminished 
self-control. Burdach stated that at this time women are more under the influence 
of mesmerism .... It is at this time, in those women who are at all predisposed, 
that sudden caprices, fits of ill-temper, moods of depression, impulses of jealousy, 
outbursts of self-confession, are chiefly liable to occur/ (p. 291). 'During menstrua- 
tion, a woman is exceptionally sensitive and irritable, so that she may be greatly 
excited by trifling matters which at other times would arouse no obvious response ... 

'The statistics of criminality in women show that a very large majority of crimes 
committed by women are committed during menstruation/ (Bauer, Woman and Love, 
I. pp. 283-284). 

472. i. e., do not cohabit with them during this period. 'During menstrua- 
tion, a woman should refrain from intercourse. By the Mosaic law the death 

148 Part II 

punishment was allotted both to the man ancLto the woman who indulged in coition 
while the latter was. menstruating. As a matter of fact, considerations alike of 
hygienic cleanliness and of sanitary, precaution prohibit the performances of coitus 
during this period. Severe menorrhagia, perimetritic irritation, and parametritic 
inflammations, have been observed to follow such indiscretion/ (Kisch, Sexual Life 
of Women, p. 173). And according to another authority, 'Incontinence during 
menstruation leads to serious circulating disturbances and to the consequences of 
these disturbances/ (p. 185). 

473. Far more rigid are the Biblical regulations concerning the menstruating 
women. /She shall be put apart seven days : and whosoever toucheth her shall be 
unclean until the even. And every thing that she lieth upon in her separation shall 
be unclean : every thing also that she sitteth upon shall be unclean. And whosoever 
toucheth her bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean 
until the even/ (Le 15 : 19-21). More onerous still are the laws prescribed by the 
Jewish doctors. According to them 'the woman must reckon seven days after the 
termination of the period. If, then, this lasts seven days, she cannot become pure 
until the fifteenth day. Purification, furthermore, can be gained only by a ritual 
bath ; and until the woman has taken this, she remains unclean .. . . .In addition to 
all this, a woman who does not menstruate regularly is unclean for a certain time 
before she becomes aware that the period has begun, and objects which she touches 
are defiled/ (JE. IX, p. 301) Many communities, peopling different parts of 
the globe, have to this day very similar laws. A woman under their code, must 
refrain, during the continuance of the flow, from all household duties, specially 
from the preparation of food, and to approach her is often an offence. She must, like 
the leper of the medieval times, wear 'a- special garment, or call aloud to warn all 
who approach her that she is unclean, {vide Havelock Ellis, Man and Woman, 
p. 15). 

474. (of menstrual pollution, and have washed themselves). 

475. According to the best medical opinion, both ancient and modern, the 
period that immediately succeeds the cessation of the menstrual flow is one most 
favourable to conception. (See Kisch. Sexual Life of Woman, p. 199). 

476. i. e., in a way that is natural, lawful and clean. 

477. i. *., those who turn to him in repentance after they happen to have 
infringed any of His laws, l^)^ literally is one who repents much or often. 

478. fV e., those who seek to be clean in body as well as in mind and spirit. 
Compare and contrast the Christian aversion to bathing and personal ablutions. 
'Certainly- the maxim which places cleanliness next to godliness, has no place in the 
biographies of the saints and heroes of monasticism, even in climates where bathing 
would seem almost one of the necessities of life. Jerome warns ascetics against warm 
baths as morally enervating, and in a letter to one of his female disciples denounces 

//. Surat-ui-Baqarah 149 

every sort of bathing for women. Augustine allows a bath once a month only/ 
(DCA. II| p. 939)— See P. VI. n. 200; XI n. 67. 

479. i. e., like the soil which receives the seeds and grows the plant," 'Your 
wives or women, are unto you things wherein ye sow offspring ; they are thus likened 
to places that are ploughed for sowing.' (LL) 

480. (and not anywhere else) . The object of repeating the simile seems to 
be to emphasize the fact that the begetting of children rather than carnal indulgence 
is the primary goal of conjugal act. 

481. Or, "when". The word j] signifies 'whence' as well as 'when/ 
and 'how* and has been used in all these senses in the Holy Qur'an. In this place, 
it can be interpreted by either 'as' or 'when/ as has in fact been done by some of 
the best authorities. Even if understood in the sense of 'whence/ it only amounts 
to saying, whatever posture you may adopt in entering your tilth' (and not entering 
anything else), and cannot be construed by any stretch of imagination to allow any 
filthy, unnatural practice. 

482. i. e., perform acts of devotion and charity all along. A powerful 
reminder that moral and spiritual ends are not to be lost sight of even in the height 
of carnal plasures. 

483. (at all times and on all occasions). Fear of God and full realisation 
of one's responsibility are to be the keynote of a Muslim's life and his every action, 
big or small. 

484. (of full and copious rewards in Paradise, O Prophet!) 

485. (who fear their Lord constantly and have a keen sense of their respon- 

150 Part II 

224. ( (> ^U . . .. K) And make not Allah 486 a butt of your oaths so that 
you shall not act piously nor fear Allah nor set things right between men ; 487 and 
Allah is Hearer, 488 Knower. 489 

225. (*U£* . . • fj>). Allah shall not take you to task for the vain in your 
oaths, 490 but He shall take you to task for what your hearts have earned, 491 and 
He is Forgiving, 492 Forbearing. 493 

226. ti#±y ... ^wiiS.Jtj) F<> r those who swear off from their wives 494 as ah 
awaiting of four months; 485 then if they go back, 498 surely Allah is Forgiving, 497 
Merciful. 498 

227. (f^ic . . . ^ •) And if they resolve a divorcement, 499 then surely 
Allah is Hearer, 500 Knower. 501 

486. i. e. y the name of Allah. 

487. The meaning is : do not swear by Allah that you would refrain from 
such and such righteous and kindly acts. To refrain from them is in itself bad 
enough : to bring in the name of God for that purpose-^-a general practice in pagan 
Arabia — is awful. 

488. (so beware- of what you utter with your lips). 

489. (so beware of what you think in your minds) . 

490. i.e. 9 inadvertent or mistaken false oaths. The reference is obviously to 
the oaths of an assertory kind, which call God to' testify to the truth of an assertion 
of fact, past or present, and not to the promissory oaths which are a sort of pledge 
to be fulfilled in the future. 

491. (by uttering a false oath deliberately). 

492. (so He overlooks rash and inadvertent oaths in this world altogether). 

493. (so He does not inflict punishment for even sinful oaths immediately, 
but defers it till the Day of Judgment) . 

494. (for an indefinite period of abstinence or for a definite period exceeding 
four months.) X>! is 'an oath that one shall not go in to one's wife/ or a c vow of 
abstinence from one's wife.' It was a recognised pre-Islamic form of repudiating 

//. Surat-ul-Baqarah 151 

one's wife and a denial of her rights for a period, definite or indefinite. In Islam 
the legal effect of such conduct amounts to a single revocable divorce. 

495. This is to prevent so important a step being taken hastily or in the heat 
of passion, and for cool consideration and deliberation, during which either the 
husband may re-establish the marital relations, or at the end of which the wife may 
be automatically released. A wise check on the impulsiveness of the husband. 

496. (on their vow within the prescribed period, and are reconciled to their 
wives, then they may retain them without incurring any sin) ^ JJJ ))*{£ signifies, 
'He reconsidered the affair, or case/ And means, 'The man who had sworn to 
abstain from conjugal intercourse with his wife, expiated his oath and returned to 
her/ (LL) 

497. (so He will forgive them their sin by dispensing with their oaths after 
requiring them to pay a small sum by way of expiation) . 

498. (so He will show mercy to the husband who has now reverted to 
rendering his duties by his wife) . 

499. i. e. 3 if even after careful consideration and full deliberation, the 
husband has resolved on divorce, and accordingly has not reasserted his marital 
relations within the period, final separation at the end of it is effected thereby auto- 
matically. The dissolution of marriage by the husband *s own act, that is, by his 
making a declaration to that effect in appropriate words is called »y& . 

500. (so He hears their oaths). 

501. (so He knows their resolve). 

152 Part II 

Vj&( - >ifes 

228. (^x^ . . ^ uuJUbJl' •) And the divorced 502 women 503 shall Keep 
themselves in waiting for three courses; 504 nor is it allowed to them that they 
should conceal what Allah has created in their wombs, 505 if they believe in Allah 
and the Last Day. 508 And their husbands are more entitled to their restoration 507 
during the same, 508 if they 506 desire rectification. 510 And to women is due 611 like 512 
what is due from women 513 honourably, 514 And for men there is a degree 515 above 
them. 516 And Allah is Mighty, 517 Wise. 518 


229. i jJ&Jt . . . JlUaJl) Divorce 510 is twice; 520 thereafter either retaining 
her honourably or releasing her kindly. 521 And it is not allowed to you to take away 
aught of what you have given them, 522 except when the twain fear that they may 
not observe the bounds of Allah. 523 Then, if you fear 624 that the twain may not 
observe the bounds of Allah, there is no blame on the twain for that with which 
she redeems herself. 525 these are the bounds of Allah, therefore do not tres- 
pass them. 526 And whoso trespasses the bounds of Allah, then it is those who 
are the ungodly. 

230. (.^JUj . . . JLi) |f he divorces her finally™ 1 she is not lawful for 
him thereafter unless she weds 528 a husband other than he; 589 then if he 530 also 
divorces her, there is no blame on the twain 531 if they return to each other, 532 
provided they think 533 that they will now observe the bounds of Allah. 584 And 
these are the bounds of Allah, 535 He expounds them to a people who know. 586 

502. The course of divorce, or the dissolution of the marriage tie, among 
ancient nations has been erratic, some making it too loose, others making it too tight. 
Speaking sociologically, every religion has to meet two ends in the sphere of marriage 
and family— to raise the standard of morality and to sanctify the marriage contract. 
But in practice some religions have become too lenient, others too rigid. The Jewish 
law allows it as a matter of no great concern. If husband finds 'some uncleanness 
in her ; then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and 

ll,Surat-ul~Baqarah 153 

send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go 
and be another man's wife/ (Dt. 24 : 1, 2). Christianity, on the other hand ^taking 
its stand on the reported saying of Jesus : 'What therefore God hath joined together, 
let not man part asunder . ... Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, 
committeth adultery against her. (Mk. 10: 9, 11), and also upon the dictum of 
Paul : 'Let not the wife depart from her husband/ (1, Co* 7 : 10), has interdicted 
divorce altogether. The Catholics hold: 'When the sacrament of matrimony has 
been received by a man and a woman and ratified by their cohabitation as husband 
and wife, their union cannot be dissolved except by death/ (CD. p. 477). The 
climax was reached in the rules of the Roman Catholic Church . . . (It) 'treats 
marriage as a sacrament and demands indissolubility and unchanging fidelity. This 
in itself is unreasonable. Judaism takes account of the mutability of human feelings, 
and free people when the chains of matrimony become fetters; but the Catholic 
Church refuses to recognise any such change of feeling. The bonds of matrimony 
become a chain as heavy and galling as iron in which two people must languish for 
the term of their natural lives/ (Bauer, Women and Love, II, p. 291). The 
Protestants allow it no doubt, but only on such grounds as are of comparatively rare 
occurrence — fornication, for instance. Islam has steered its course midway between 
the two, avoiding the extremes of either ipaking divorce too rigid or banning it 
altogether, or of making it too loose and frivolous. Islam has adopted the only wise 
course open— that of imposing certain conditions and limitations upon the right of 
the husband to dissolve the matrimonial bond, the object of which is 'to ensure that 
the husband was not acting in haste or anger and that separation becomes inevitable 
in the interests of the husband and the wife and the children/ ('Abdur Rahlm, 
op. cit. y p. 336). 

503. (whose marriage has consumated, and who are of menstruating age and 
are free, not bondwomen). For other classes of wives the regulations are different. 

504. (during which period they shall not remarry). 'Iddat 9 literally means 
counting and in law it means the time during which the wife must wait after the 
cessation of marriage before she can marry again. When dissolution of the marriage 
has been brought about by tal&q, Hddat will be imposed only if there has been 
consummation or valid retirement. The period of probation for a woman, who has 
been divorced, is, according to the Hanaf I law, the period covered by three menstrual 
courses and according to the Shaft 'Is and Malikls the period covered by three 
intervals, and in the case of an old woman or of a girl of immature age it is three 
months/ ('Abdur Rahlm, op. cit. 9 p. 341). The imposition of Hddat is a distinc- 
tive feature of the Islmic law of divorce. >j is 'A menstruation ; and a state of 
purity from the menstrual discharge : thus having two contrary meanings/ (LL). 

505. (either of conception or menstruation) . 

506. (as this concealment would interfere with the reckoning of the legal 
Hddat and that would in its turn lead to the infringement of the Law in various 

154 Part II 

other ways). 

507. (than that the divorce be made absolute and irrevocable). Divorce, 
though perfectly legitimate in itself, is not to be had recourse to light-heartedly or 
on flimsy grounds. Verses like the above tend to discourage the practice, unless, of 
course, there be strong reasons for taking the step, or the incompatibility of tempera- 
ments be well-established. The Prophet is also reported to have observed : — 'Of ail 
the permissible acts, divorce is the most disapproved of by Allah/ 

508. i. e., within the period prescribed. 

509. f. e. 9 the husbands. 

510. The proviso is significant. Husbands are to take back their wives if 
they are really keen on reconciliation, and not with a view to harassing them. 

511. (from men), 

512. (in kind) : j. ^., in being obligatory. 

513. (to men). In plainer language : women have rights quite similar to 
those of men. This bold and explicit declaration of the rights of women centuries 
and centuries before a Mill dreamt of writing on the 'Subjection of Women," has 
no parallel in the pages of other Divine Scriptures. Contrast with this the attitude 
of the Bible which as a punishment of the sin of Eve makes wife a subject to her 
husband who is to rule over her. 'According to the Old Testament, woman is 
responsible for the fall of man, and this "became the cornerstone of Christian teach- 
ing .. . It is a remarkable fact that the gospel (barring divorce, Mt. 19 : 9) 
contain not a word in favour of woman ... The epistles of St. Paul definitely 
insist that no change can be permitted in the position of woman . . .St. Jerome has 
aught but good to say of woman. ''Woman is the gate of the devil, the road of evil, 
the sting of the scorpion/' Canon law declares : "Man only is created to the image 
of God, not woman : therefore woman shall serve him and be his handmaid/' The 
Provincial Council of &laeon (sixth century) seriously discussed the question 
'whether woman had a soul at all/ (KrafTt-Ebing, Psychopathic Sexwalis, p. 4. 
n. 12th Ed.) The effect of the teachings of the Jewish rabbis and Christian fathers 
was that in the course of history 'woman was represented as the door of hell, as the 
mother of all human ills. She should be ashamed at the very thought that she is a 
woman/ (Lecky, History of European Morals, II, p. 357-58). See also P. V. n. 73. 

Islam grants full dignity to woman as a human being. Each sex is meant to 
complement the other. Woman is not sub-human. The true relation between the 
sexes is of interdependence. 

514. This implies, by the way, the principle of modern 'Veracism* which 
demands on behalf of the maiden entering upon marriage that her husband be as 
chaste and sexually as unspotted as herself and denies the largely prevailing bisexual 
ethical standard in the West allowing one set of sexual honour for the male, another 
for the female. 

515. (of superiority). 

//. SQrat-ul-Baqarah 155 

516. 'The. zest of power and knowledge, the search for artistic perfection/ 
observes an English sociologist with palpable feminist bias 'are usually masculine 
characters/ (Havelock Ellis, Man and Woman, p. 454). 'It is generally true/ 
remark two distinguished European biologists, 'that the males are more active, 
energetic, eager, passionate, and variable ; the females more passive, conservative, 
sluggish, and stable/ (Thompson arid Geddes, Evolution of Sex, p. 289). 'Man, 
perhaps even down to the protein molecules of his tissue cells, is biologically different 
from woman . . . The revolutionary principles collide with the very important 
circumstance, namely, the biological inequality of the sexes. We must recognize 
the unquestionable existence of the biological inequality of the sexes. It goes 
deeper and is of far greater import than it would appear to those not familiar with 
natural sciences/ (Nemilov, Biological Tragedy of Woman, pp. 75-78). The Holy 
Book of God concedes the rights of woman in full— under it she can rise to equal 
heights with man, consistent with her sex — yet it lends no support whatever to the 
modern craze of the absolute equality of the sexes. Equality of rights and opportu- 
nities is of course not quite the same thing as 'uniformity ' or identity. See P. III. 
n. 369 ; P. V. nn. 58, 73, also n. 513 above. ' 

517. (so He could have enjoined anything He willed). 

518. (so He enjoins only what is" perfectly meet and proper). 

519. (which is revocable). Tal&q is of two kinds, raja'l or that which permits 
of the husband resuming conjugal relations, and Win or that which separates; The 
former is generally translated as revocable and the latter as irrevocable or absolute. 
A divorce which is revocable in the inception, becomes absolute or irrevocable if the . 
Hddat, or period of probation, is allowed to elapse without the husband having 
revoked either by express words or conduct/ ('Abdur Rahlm, op. cit. p. 336). 

520. i. e., can be pronounced only twice after which it shall be final and 
irrevocable, unlike the divorce of the pagan days which could be revoked after being 
pronounced any number of times. < 

521. i.'e.,. after the two periods of temporary separation, make your final 
choice— either take her back in love and amity, or let her go finally but in any case, 
be honourable and kind. The goal of matrimony in Islam is to unite two lives, to 
bring happiness to the couple, and to instil mutual amity, harmony, responsible 
co-partnership and good fellowship in the pair. Now human nature being what it 
is, i it sometimes happens that even with the best of motives and after repeated trials, 
the union remains unhappy. The only remedy then is to unfasten the wedding- tie. 
Even then, the husband is enjoined by the Qur'an not to dismiss the wife in 
disgrace, or with a view to humiliating her but to let her off kindly, with due regard 
to his chivalry and her tenderness, and with a view to securing peace of mind both 
for her and himself. . 

522. (even though it be what you have yourself given her in dowry). The 
husband has to pay dower in full if he takes the initiative in the divorce. 

156 Part II 

523. (by continuing to live as husband and wife, t. e. y the duties and obli- 
gations as husband and wife required by the law of Islam. 

524. . The address is to the Muslims in authority or the guardians of the 

525. (and obtains her relief). If the wife claims the dissolution of marriage 
she must be prepared to sacrifice the dower that was otherwise hers to free herself 

526. i. *., these are the commandments of God meant to be obeyed and are 
not trivialities to be trifled with. 

527. i. e., if he pronounces the third, the irrevocable divorce, after the two 
revocable ones. 'The most approved form of repudiation is that the husband should 
pronounce the sentence once during a tuhr or period of purity of the wife and then 
let the divorce become absolute by expiry of the period of probation. The next 
best form is to 'pronounce one sentence of repudiation during a period of purity for 
three such periods so that on the third pronouncement the repudiation would 
become irrevocable. In the first form there is a greater guarantee than in the 
second against hasty and ill-advised action. But if divorce be pronounced while the 
wife is not in a state "of purity or if divorce is at once expressed to be irrevocable 
such as the husband saying, "I have divorced thee irrevocably," . . . the result will 
be irrevocable divorce though the law regards a repudiation in this form with 
disapproval as being an innovation/ ('Abdur Rahim, op. cit. pp. 336*337). 

528. (after the expiry of her Hddat of three months). 

529. (and this second marriage has been consummated) . 

530. i. e. 9 this second hust>and. 

531. i. e., the wife and the former husband.. 

532. (in wedlock, after the expiry of the second term of 'iddat). 

533. i. e., consider it probable. 

534. i. e.> will behave properly and shall not commit excesses against each 
other. 'Even after an irrevocable divorce the law permits the parties to remarry, 
but in case the divorce was by pronouncement of three sentences or a triple divorce, 
the law adds as a condition precedent to reunion that the woman should be married 
to another man and such second marriage should have been lawfully terminated 
after consummation and the period of probation on account of the second marriage 
should have expired. The professed object of the law in adding this condition is to 
discourage such divorces/ ('Abdur Rahim, op. cit. p. 337). 

535. (so, far from infringing them, beware of treating them lightly). 

536. (as it is people with knowledge who alone can profit by these Divine 

//. SUrat-ul-Baqarah 157 


231. (**JU . . . ii! .) And when you have divorced your women 537 and 
they have attained their period, 538 then either retain them honourably or release 
them kindly: 539 and do not retain them to their hurt so th^t you may trespass; 540 
and whoso does this assuredly wrongs his soul. And do not hold Allah's com- 
mandments in mockery, 541 and remember Allah's. favour upon you, 542 and that He 
has sent down upon you the Book and wisdom with which He admonishes you. 
And fear Allah, 543 and know that surely Allah is the Knower of -everything. 1 ! 4 * 


232. (-jjaJU; • • . lit *) And when you have divorced 545 women and they 
have attained their period, 546 do not straiten them so that they will not re Wed 
their husbands, 547 after they have agreed between themselves honourably. 548 
Hereby is admonished he among you who believes in Allah and the Last Day : 
this is cleaner for you and purer. 549 Allah knows 550 and you do not know. 551 

537. (a divorce which is yet revocable). 

538. (of waiting), i. *., the term of Hddat has been reached, but has not yet 

539. This is for a second time that husbands are enjoined to behave towards 
their wives honourably and generously whether they retain them or divorce them. 
The duty to be kind, fair, and chivalrous towards the wives is not contingent on 
something else ; it is unconditional. See nn. 521 and 522 above. 

540. (tne bounds of law). Observe the emphasis with which the Qur^an, 
as the spokesman of the helpless and the weak, defends and safeguards the rights of 
the divorced women. It is certainly not the Holy Qur'an, but the Bible, which 
treats of the man as the owner, and the woman as his chattel, his possession. (Cf. 
EBi. c. 1498). See also n. 522 above. 

541. i. e. 9 do not treat these ordinances lightly. To disregard God's 
commandments is a grievous sin : to hold them up to mockery is positive blasphemy. 
(Th). The words are suggestive of the seriousness of the step involved in the 

158 Pan// 

divorce. Such solemn affairs of life are Purely no matters of jest. There is also a 
precept of the Prophet to the effect that no jesting is allowed in three things, 
namely, marriage, divorce, and manumission. &\j~JU>j in this context are clearly 
God V commandments, not His c signs,^ as generally mistranslated. 

542. (O Muslims!) 

543. i. e.y fear of God must be the spring of your action in all your dealings. 

544. The greater the fear of the Lord and the belief in His Omniscience, the 
easier the obedience of His commands. 

545. Notice the features of the English law of divorce as adumbrated by a 
thoughtful Englishman:— 'The fundamental defect in the law, as it stands at 
present, is that it makes a particular kind of matrimonial misconduct the sine qua non 
of divorce. However irksome and intolerable the yoke, the law does not permit 
release except, through wrong-doing. In a sense it thus puts a premium on miscon- 
duct/ Here is another testimony still more eloquent :— 'The steady increase in cases 
of divorce in the United Kingdom is giving many people furiously to think . . .It 
is alleged by reformers, and surely with justice, that the present state of the law 
overstresses the sexual aspect of marital incompatibility. Who can doubt it ? The 
pniy effective plea for a divorce is one on the ground of the adultery of one party or 
the other. The shifts to which this leads parties desirous of divorce are almost 
incredible in a modern civilised community . . . 7 The fact is that, where divorces are 
obtainable on grounds other than those of sexual immorality, that unpleasant 
subject arises comparatively rarely. The slights to which this heavy stress on sexual 
misdemeanour puts people have already been mentioned. Evidence of cohabitation 
with a third party is often sufficient to obtain a divorce ..... What can be said for 
a system which exists upon a basis of collusion — collusion in which lawyers play 
their part ? Of a system which is productive of endless lying and deceit ! The law 
as it stands serves no good purpose but provides a happy hunting grbund for crooks 
and adventurers. ', 

546. (of waiting), i. e n when Hddat has been completed. 

547. (either new or old ones whom they choose to remarry). 
548/ (to live as husband and wife). 

549. i. e\, more conducive to your spiritual health and moral welfare. High 
principles and lofty moral ideals are thus to be always the end in view. 

550. (and is Cognisant of all possible contingencies). 

551. (so obey the Divine law implicity, and do not intrude your own 
opinibns and fancies). 

//. SUrat-ul-Baqarah 159 

23 Q> 

233 (yA*u . . . ul>UJI)JL) And mothers 552 shall suckle their children 553 
two whole years ; this is for him who intends that he shall complete the suckl- 
ing; 554 and on hirn to whom the child is born 555 is the mothers' 556 provision and 
clothing honourably; 557 — not a soul 558 is tasked 559 except according to its capaci- 
ty. 560 Neither shpll a mother be hurt 561 because of her child nor shalf he to whom 
the child is born because of his child; 562 and on the heir shaft devolve the like 
thereof. 563 Then if the twain 564 desire weaning 565 by agreement between them and 
mutual counsel 566 there is no blame on the twain. And if you desire to give 
your children for suckling, 567 there is no blame on you when you handover what- 
ever you have agreed to give her honourably. 568 And fear Allah, and know that 
Allah is the Beholder of what you do. 

234 - (y***» • •"•• L+t&U) And as for those of y° u who die and leave wives 
behind, they 563 shall keep themselves in waiting 570 for four months and ten 
days. 571 Then when they have attained their period, 572 there is no blame on you 573 
for what they do with themselves 574 honourably. 575 Allah is Aware of whatever 
you do. 

552. (whether divorced or stili in wedlock). 

553. 'The one and only suitable food for an infant is his own mother's milk. 
No other food is adapted to his constitution/ (Scharlieb, op. cit. p. 4) 'The first 
duty of the mother is to suckle her child, to this duty all others should be subordi- 
nated/ (p. 104.) 'It is sufficient to point out how important it is alike for mother 
and child, alike for family and society, that the ever more and more widely and 
generally diffused practice of the artificial feeding of infants should be abandoned, 
and that there should be a return to the natural method according to which each 
mother nurses her own infant. The prevailing custom costs every year thousands of 
mothers their health, and thousands of children their lives/ (Kisch, Sexual Life of 
Woman, p. 195.) 

554. Earlier wearing, by implication, is lawful for those who do not desire 
the completion. 

160 Part II 

555. i. *., the father of the chilcL 

556. i. e., the suckling mothers whether they are in wedlock or in the period 
of 'iddat. 

557. i. e., according to what is just, reasonable and equitable. 

558. (whether of man or woman). 

559. (by God with duties and obligations). 

560. (and it is in accordance with this general law that women are charged 
with suckling and men with bearing their expenses). 

561. *. e,, charged with what is unreasonable or unjust. 

562. Every suckling mother is to receive kind and considerate treatment by 
the father of the child, and vice versa he by her, and none is to be forced into 
humiliating terms by the other party. 

563. (in case the father dies). The duty of bringing up the child on the 
death of the father, devolves on his heir. 

564. i. e.y the parents. 

565. (before the completion of two years). 

566. (in the interest of the child). 

567. (in their own interests, to a wet-nurse). 

568; i. ;•*.., according to what is just, reasonable and equitable. 

569. t. *., the widows. 

570. (before they remarry, in order to be known whether they are with 
child by the deceased or not). 

571. (but if the widow is with child, her period of 'iddat would synchronise 
with the period of pregnancy and would expire at delivery immediately). 

572. (of waiting). 

5 7 3. (by your participating in their activities, or in allowing them 
unfettered liberty). 

574. (in looking out for new husbands). Note that it is the widows them- 
selves, not their male relations, who are the active dispensers of their future. 

575. i. *., provided of course that they do nothing sinful or disreputable. 

//. Surat-ul-Baqarah 161 


235. (-^Jb*. . . • O Ancl there is no blame ,on you in that you speak 
indirectly of your troth to the said women 576 or conceal it 577 in your souls ! Allah 
knows that you will soon make mention of these women. 578 But make no pro- 
mise 579 to them in secret 580 except that you speak an honourable saying. 581 And 
eve® r.asolve not on wedding^knot 582 until the prescribed term 583 has attained its 
end. And know that Allah knows what is in your souls, 584 so beware of Him, and 
know that Allah is Forgiving, 585 Forbearing. 686 


236. ( t ai««j! . . . 5J) There is no blame on you 587 if you divorce 
women while yet you have not touched them 588 nor settled with them a settle- 
ment. 589 Benefit them ; 590 on the affluent, is due according to hjs means and on 
the straitened is due according to his means: 591 an honourable present 592 — 
incumbent 5 " on the well-doers. 594 

576. i. e., the widows in their waiting periods. 

577. i. e., your desire to marry them after the expiry of the waiting period 
or Hddqt: 

578. (so he has allowed this much). 

579. (of wedlock). 

580. (much less in open). But _j| is also synonymous with r &jLJ| (Rgh)« 
So the phrase may also be rendered : 'make no promise unto them of wedlock/ 

581. 'A honourable saying* in the context means to speak of the intended 
marriage only indirectly — in a way that may suggest or imply, but not actually 
express or mention, the intention. 

582. Or 'wedlock/ 

583. (of waiting). 

584. (so be on your guard even in thought and intention). 

585. (to those who are quick in repenting). 

586. (and not always punish sinners immediately). 

162 Part II 

587. (for not paying the dower money). 

588. *. *., consummated your marriage. 

589. (by way of dower money) . 

590. •(». e. y present them with a gift, in place of dower), t.^x* * s ' c He gave 
her a gift after divorce/ 

591. 3.^$ in both places is, literally, 'according to him/ 

592. i. e., a suitable present in any case. 

593. i. <., incumbent, not optional. 

594. (and every Muslim is expected to be a 'well-doer' in this respect). 

//. Surat-ul-Baqarah 163 

e &&& &#*jwfi&4& $* i;im* «&« «K^Ci4 a 
43$ & & asflio&ajfeft^ o;>^^^i;^; 

237. ^jjuof ■.. . . .J ») And if you divorce them before you have touched 
them, but "have a/ready settled with them a settlement, 596 then due from you is 
half of what you have settled unless the wives forgo, 596 or he in whose hand is 
wedding-knot 597 forgoes : 598 and that you 699 should forgo 600 is higher to piety. 601 
And- do not forget grace among yourselves; 602 surely Allah is the Beholder of 
what you do. 603 

238. (-.wOiS . . . i^AaA Be watchful over the prayers, 604 and the middle 
prayer, 605 and stand up to Allah truly devout. 606 

239. ( #jr JUJ . . • JLj) And if you fear 607 then pray on foot or riding ; 608 
then when you are secure, remember Allah in the way He has taught you 609 
which you even knew not. 

240. -'.(^uca. . . .''.jjoJL) And those of you who die and leave wives, they 
shall make a bequest 610 to their wives a year's maintenance without their having 
to go out; 611 then if they go out 612 then there is no blame on you for what they 618 
may do with themselves honourably. 614 and Allah is Mighty, 615 Wise. 616 

241. (,, vA ?.?,,,i| • . . ir-.MK V \) And for the divorced women an honour- 
able present 617 : incumbent on the Godfearing. 

595. (by way of dower money). 

5%. (their portion or one-half of the dower specified). 

597. i. e., the husband. 'The husband has a right to dissolve the marriage 
as by such dissolution he only gives up his own right. But as marriage is founded 
on contract and the above rights of the husband arise by implication of such 
contract, it is open to a woman at the time of marriage or subsequently thereto to 
stipulate for their curtailment or to get some of them transferred to herself such as 
the right to dissolve the marriage/ ('Abdur Rahim, op. cit., p. 328). 

598. (his own half) i. e. y he pays the dower-money in full. 

599. i. e., husbands and wives both. 

600. (each, his or her own portion). .^Jl is here used in the sense of 'the 
withdrawing from a right, or due, and from seeking, or demanding it/ (LL) 

164 Part II 

601. (than your insistence on the execution of your dower) . • So. this, relin- 
quishment is approved of as 'the most cotnmendable.' 

602. Acts, of benevolence, and voluntary, cheerful renunciation of dues, are 
far more acceptable in the sight of the Lord than insistence on one*s rights. \Los 
in this sense is 'a free gift, or favour, a benefit ; and bounty/ (LL) 

603. (and so He shall requite you in full for ) our acts of benevolence and 
relinquishment in favour of others). 

604. t. *., all the appointed prayers. y/4 ])| u fcJoils*,* is to attend or apply 
oneself constantly to the' affair. And the phrase in the text means: 'Perform ye 
the prayers in their proper times ; or keep ye, attend ye, apply yourselves constantly 
to the performance of the prayer in their proper time.* (LL), 

605. (in particular). The middle prayer, according to the majority of the 
exegetes, is the afternoon (^j prayer. 'Particular note is taken of this prayer as 
that is usually the time of work and business. Muslims are required to be at least as 
regular in their prayers as are the 'civilised nations* in their tpeals. 

606. (in prayer). 'Such a sight has, indeed, been one of the contributing 
motives to conversion, as an . Alexandrian Jew, who embraced Islam in the year 
1298, wrote of his own experience/ (Arnold, Islamic. Faith, p. 29). 

607. (any danger while praying) i. e. y if, for instance, you feared the 
approach of an enemy. 

608. (in whatever position or posture that may be possible), i. e'. 9 say your 
prayers as hesi as you can, at their proper times even if your faces be diverted from 
the qiblah, and no bowing down or prostration be possible, except by gestures. 
Worthy of note is the insistence .on saying prayers at their regular hours, even in 
times of the greatest danger and excitement. Could a body of believers, so discip- 
lined and so determined, lose any battle in the struggle for existence ? 

609. i. e. say the prayers in their regular and proper way. 

610. IjyD* by its grammatical construction is not 'making a bequest/ but 
'shall make a bequest/ 

611. The verse refers to the earlier periods of Islam, before the law of 
inheritance was revealed, and when widows had no shares allotted to ihem in their 
husbands* property. Men were then required to make bequests for one year*s 
maintenance and residence for their widows. The arrangement automatically 
ceased when laws of inheritance came into force, and widows obtained definite 
shares (one-fourth or one-eighth part) in their deceased husbands 5 property. 

612. (of their own accord at the expiry of their Hddat). 

613. t. *., the widows. 

614. i. e., their second marriage, for instance. 

615. (so His injunctions are to be implicitly obeyed). 

616. (so His injunctions are full of wisdom and benefit both to the indivi- 
dual and the community). 

617. ' (made by their husbands). 'And for the divorced women there shall 
be a provision of necessaries with moderation, or right and just aim and benefi- 
cence/ (LL) 

II. SUrat'Ul-Baqarah 165 

jS?r '3&X. 




242- ( jjjj . . . i-£Jtoi) ^hus c ' oes Allah expound to you His com- 
mandments ; haply you may reflect 618 


243. (^.^Ouj . . . *Jl) Hast thou not 619 looked at those who 620 went forth 
from their dwellings, and they were in their thousands to escape death ? 621 Then 
Allah said to them : /die';* 22 '.and thereafter revived them 623 Surely Allah is 
Gracious to men, although most men do not give thanks. 

244. ."(juju • . • ^tf *) And fight in the way of Allah, 624 and know that 
Allah is Hearer," 625 - Knower. 626 

24^. r. yx^y . . . ^) Who is it that will lend to Allah a goodly loan, 627 
so that He will multiply it to him manifold ? 628 And Allah scants and amplifies, 629 
and to Him you all shall be returned. 630 

618. (and act- accordingly). 

619. (and be admonished, O reader !) 'When ^j is made transitive by 
means of )\ t it denotes consideration that leads to the becoming admonished/ 

620. sometime in the remote past. 

621. i. #., to escape the risk of death by serving in a religious war. 

622. (and they died). The reference is to some unknown people of anti- 
quity, who in their thousands deserted their dwellings, it is related, for fear of being 
compelled to serve in a Jikdd> or holy war. When they reached a certain valley, 
God struck them dead, through some epidemic or otherwise. Sornetime later, He 
restored them to life. The story may well serve as a prelude to th§ injunction of 
fighting in the next verse ; and the moral obviously is that life and death are 
absolutely in the hands of the Lord. 

623. Compare for a similar experience an autobiographical narrative by the 
prophet Ezekiel in the OT. Ezek., 37 : 1-10. 

624. (taking to heart the moral conveyed by the above story). 

166 Part II 

625. (who hears every word thatrhuman lips let fall). 

626. (who knows inner motives and secrets). So He will requite the 
obedient and the disobedient both according to the deeds and motives of each. 

627. (by spending in the way of God with pure heart, by making a right 
use of wealth, and by contributing to the establishment of the true religion). 

628. i. e., He will reward it amply and most liberally : Cf. the NT: — 'Lay 
not up for yourselves treasures, upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and 
where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in 
heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break 
through-norsteal/ (Mt.6: 19, 20). Also Lk. 12 : 33, 34. 

629. (the means of subsistence as He willeth), i. e., so do not be afraid of 
poverty by spending in His cause lavishly and cheerfully. 

630. (and by Him alone shall ye be judged). . 

II SUrat-ul-Bagarah 167 

rijSy , 'Q&Z 


246. ( #w ^.jUo)b . . • J*) Hast thou not 631 looked at the chjefs of the 
'Children .of Isra'il after Musa ? 632 They said to a prophet of theirs : 633 'raise for 
us a king 634 that we may fight in the way of God. 636 He said, 636 'may be that if 
the fighting were prescribed for you, you would not fight'. They said : fwhy 
shduld we not fight in the way of God, whereas we have been driven away from 
our dwellings and children?' 637 Yet when the fighting was prescribed for them, 
they turned away, save a few of them; 638 and Allah is the Knower of the 
ungodly. 639 

247. ( r<6 ju ... . JU .) And their prophet said to them : 'surely Allah has 
raised over you Talut 640 as a king'. 6-1 They said I /how can there be kingship for 
him over us, whereas we are worthier of kingship than he ? 642 Nor has he been 
given plenty of riches.' 643 The Prophet said : 'surely Allah has chosen him over 
you, 644 and has increased him in knowledge 645 and physique, 646 and Allah grants 
kingship to whom He will, 647 and Allah is Bountiful, 648 Knowing'. 648 

631. (O reader I) See n. 619 above. ; 

632. i. e., after his time. 

633. i. *., Samuel (on him be peace!) 'Hebrew judge and prophet. His 
rule preceded the establishment of the kingly office. He belonged to the tribe of 
Levi, by Hannah. As judge he restored the worship of Jehovah and put a stop to 
the idolatrous practices of the Hebrews. He lived at Ramah in the hill-country of 
Ephraim (11 10-1020 B. G.) ... .He enjoyed the esteem of the people as seer and 
judge of Israil for many years .... He died at an advanced age in his home at 
Ramah and was buried there amid general lamentation/ (VJE, p. 574). 

634. i_£JU * s tne chief ruler of a nation, people or tribe. 'In Palestine 
almost every chieftain t)ore this title/ (JE. VII p. 500). 'The Philistine oppression 
revealed to the Israelites the absolute necessity of united action. In that early age 
the only known form of political organisation that promised permanent indepen- 
dence, was the kingship/ (Kent, Founders and Rulers of United Israel, 73). 

635. (under him with our enemies). 'The chief duty of the king was to act 

168 Part II 

as war-lord and commander-in-chief^bf the army/ (JE. VII. p. 501). Cf. the 
OT:— 'Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to 
Samuel unto Ramah, and said unto him . . .'. . Now make us a king to judge^us like 
all the nations.. ... . We will have a king over us ; that we also may be like all the 

nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our 
battles/ (1 Sa. 8 ; 4-5 ; 19-20). ^IJl m tne phrase is translated as God, as the 
saying is from the mouth of the Israelites. 

636. — —well aware as he was of the habit of indiscipline and insubordina- 
tion of his people The Hebrews, loyal to their desert instincts were 'very loath 

to acknowledge any central authority.'' An exceedingly strong pressure was required 
to make them unite. That pressure was at last furnished by the Philistines/ (Kent, 
op. cit. p. 73). 

637. (by our enemies). 'The Philistines were conquerors, and slew above 
four thousand of the Hebrews, and pursued the rest of their multitude to their 
camp . . '. . They (the Hebrews) were presently beaten as soon as they came to a 
close fight with their enemies, and lost about thirty thousand men, among which 
were the sons of the high priest .'. ... The whole city was full of lamentations/ 
("Ant/' V. 11: 1-2). 

638. . 'When the people about Saul observed how numerous the Philistines 
were, they were under a great consternation ; and some of them hid themselves in 
caves and in dens underground, but the greater part fled into the land beyond 
Jordan/ ("Ant/* VI. 6: 1). 

639. (and shall requite them accordingly). The wrong-doers here are those 
who turned back. 

640. 'SauF of Bible. Reigned according to Sir Charles Marston's chrono- 
logy from 1018 to 1003 B. C. 

641. 'And when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said unto him, Behold the 
man whom I spake to thee of! this same shall reign over my people/ (1 Sa 9 : 17). 

642. i. e., we, have a better right to kingship than he has. 

643. Saul belonged to the smallest of the Israelite tribes, the tribe of 
Benjamin, and his family was the smallest of all the families of the tribe. (Cf. 1 Sa 
9: 21). So he was despised by many. of the Hebrews. 'The children of Beli-al 
said, How shall this man save us ? And they despised him, and brought him no 
presents/ (1 Sa.9:27). 'The greater part were ill men, who despised him, and 
derided the others, who neither did bring him presents, nor did they in affection, or 
even in words, regard to please him/ ("Ant.*" VI. -4: 6). 

644. (and that fact alone must be sufficient to silence and convince you.) 
c And Samuel said to all the people, See ye him whom the Lord hath chosen, that 
there is none like him among all the people V (1 Sa. 10 : 24). 

645. (pertaining to government and military leadership). 

646. i. e. 9 he is distinguished for his splendid physique and is of command- 

//. Surat-ul-Baqarah 169 

ing appearance. 'First king of Israel from about 1040 B. C. noted for his courage 
and personal beauty/ (CE. VII. p. 200.4). The Quranic word Tdlut is itself 
expressive of the tallness ; and that he was tall and stood high is borne out by the 
Bible. 'He was higher than any of the people from his shoulders and upward/ 
(1 Sa. 10 : 23). 'From his shoulders and upward be was higher than any of the 
people/ (I Sa. 9: 2). 'In war he was able to march 120 miles without rest/ 
(JE. XL- p. 76). It was a fixed belief with the Hebrews that their leader, besides 
possessing other qualities, must be tall of stature. 'The Holy One, blessed be He, 
does not cause His Shechinah to alight except on one who is wise, strong, rich, and 
of tall'stature/ (ET. p. 128). 

647. The Hebrews objected to the kingship of Saul on the ground of his 
poverty. God's answer is : if he is not rich in wealth, We have made him rich in 
strength and knowledge; he is your superior both in mind and in body. So he did 
fight successfully the Philistines, the Moabites, the Aramaeans , and the Amalekites. 

648. (so He can elevate and exalt any humble and obscure individual He 

649. (so He knows who is fit to lead and to govern). 

170 Part II 


248. ( .yJUf* . . . J^%) And t ^ ie ' r Prophet said to them : 'surely the 
sign 650 of his kingship is that there shall come to you 651 the ark 652 wherein is 
tranquillity from your Lord 653 and the relic of what the household of Musa and 
the household of Harun had left, 654 the angels, bearing it 656 ; surely, here is a sign 
for you if you 656 are believers at all! 


249. (^^^aJl^ . . . UX>) Then when Talut sallied forth with the hosts, 
he said : 857 surely Allah will test you 668 with a river, 659 then whoso drinks of it 
shall not be mine, and whoso tastes it not, shall be mine, excepting him who takes 
a sip with his hand'. 660 Yet they drank of it, save a few of them/ 61 Then when 
he had crossed it 662 , he and those who believed with him, they said, 663 'we have 
no strength 664 to-day against Jalut 665 and his hosts'. 666 But those who believed 
reckoned that they were going to meet Allah 667 said, 'how often "has a small 
group 668 prevailed against a large group by God's command. And Allah is with 
the steadfast'. 669 

650. i.e., the event portending his kingship. 

651. (of itself). 

652. i. e., the ark of the Covenant, c an oblong chest 2| cubijts long by \\ 
cubits in breadth and depth, was the most ancient and most sacred of the religious 
possessions of the Hebrew nation — ~a visible symbol of Yahowa's gracious presence. 
It guided them on their journey, and led them on from victory to victory. Moreover, 
'it was venerated as the divine dwelling/ (EBr. II. 11th Ed. p. 365). Terrified 
with plague and pestilence that followed in its wake the Philistines placed the ark 
on a cart driven by nobody, drawn by two cows. The beasts took it of their own 
accord to Beth-Shemesh, a city of Judah. The Israelites were immensely joyed and 
highly cheered at its miraculous restoration. The ark c was placed by Solomon in 
the first temple, after the destruction of which it does not reappear .... Some still 
hold that it lies hidden beneath the temple site/ (VJE. p. 50). 

653. .*. e. 9 tablets of the law, fragments of Torah : the sacred articles radiat- 
ing tranquillity or peace of mind. 

//. Surat-ul-Baqarah 171 

654. (such as the shoes and the rod of Moses, the miter of Aaron, their 
garments, etc.). 

655. The angles were directing the beasts that were drawing the ark-cart. 

656. * Through the prophet Samuel, the champion Saul is discovered .-....' 
He wins victory . . ... The ark is brought back to the joy of the people/ (Hosmer, 
The Jews, pp. 18-20). This is in harmony with the Qur'an. Yet some Christian 
worthies have thought it fit to assert positively, on the sole authority of the First 
Book of Samuel (eh. 6), that the ark was restored 'before 5 the advent of Saul. /To 
seek to impugne the accuracy of the Holy Qur'an on the strength of a book 
thoroughly unreliable as a history, and full of discrepancies, requires an amount of 
audacity not ordinarily given to the mortals. 

657. (to his men). 

658. (in perseverance and self-control). The weather was violently hot, 
and Saul's troops demanded water of him. 

659. i.' e., the Jordan. 'The crossing of Jordan, one way or the other, was 
always an event in the history of Israel.' (EBr. XIII. 11th Ed. p. 148). 

660. (and is satisfied therewith). l$y&. is 'the- quantity of water that is taken 
[or ladled out] with the hand [as with a ladle] ;" as much thereof as fills the hand/ 

661. (who were content with a handful of water). 

662. (and perceived the immense numerical superiority of the enemy). 

663. (to one another in anxiety and alarm). 'Saul and his army were 
therewith terrified/ ("Ant/' 1 . 9 ; 

664. (to all appearance). 

665. i t <?., Goliath of the Bible, the giant champion of the Philistinian army, 
'whose height was six cubits and a span/ (1 Sa. 17 : 4). 'A man of vast bulk, for 
he was of four cubits and a span in tallness, and had about him weapons suitable to 
the largeness of his body/ -'("Ant/' VI. 9:1). 'The name the giant bore indicated 
his supernatural insolence, Goliath recalling that he stood with "uncovered 
(arrogant) countenance before even God/' Goliath challenged the Israelites every 
morning and every evening, so as to disturb them at the hour set for reciting the 
Shema/ (JE. VI. p. 38). 

666. 'And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day ; give me 
a man, that we may fight together. When Saul and all Israel heard those words 
of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid — .... And all the men of 
Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were scare afraid/ (1 Sa. 17: 
10-11, 24). 'Saul and his army were therewith terrified, while they put themselves 
in array as if they would fight, but did not come to a close battle/ ("Ant/' VI, 

667. (at the Resurrection), i. e., those of Saul's men who were stronger in 
faith, and were therefore not terrified and dismayed. 

668. (gifted with faith and perseverance). 

669. (as perseverance and faith in God are the main things). 

172 Part II 

250. {.yjykdW'. . .'UJ 5 ) And when .they arranged themselves against 
JSlut and his hosts, they said, 'Our Lord ! pour forth on us steadfastness and set 
firm our feet and make us triumph over the infidel people', 670 - 

25 1. ( a,i»M ." . . ■*&■+* ; € i) Then they 671 vanquished them, by the com- 
mand of Allah ; 672 and Daud 673 slew Jalut, 674 and Allah gave him kingdom 675 and 
wisdom 676 and taught him of what He willed. 677 And had it not been for Allah's 
repelling some people 678 by means of others, 67 * the earth was surely to be 
corrupted. 690 But Allah is Gracious to the worlds. 681 

252. -(^jJUj/tJl •'•■ • lJJU) These are the revelations of Allah : We recite 
them to thee, 682 and, surely, 683 thou art one of the envoys. 684 

670. Observe the beautiful order in the prayer. First, it is the firmness of 
heart that is sought, then the firmness of feet, and then, as a natural sequel, triumph 
over the adversary. \ 

671. i.e., Saul's men. 

672. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled. And 
the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines/ 
(1 Sa. 17 : 5.1, 52). 'And upon the fall of Goliath, the Philistines were beaten, and 
fled ... . . So that there were slain of Philistines thirty thousand, and twice as many 
wounded. But Saul returned to their camp, and pulled their fortification to pieces, 
and burnt it/ ("Ant." VI. 9 : 5). 

♦ 673. i. <., King David (1013-973 B. C.) of the Bible. He was in Saul's 

army, and was yet neither prophet nor king. 

674. 'And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and 

slang it, and smote the Philistine t in his forehead David ran and stood upon 

the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew 
him, and cut off his head therewith/ (1 Sa. 17 : 49-51). 'The youth met his anta- 
gonist, being accompanied with an invisible assistant, who was no other than God 
himself/ ("Ant." VI. 9 : 5). For further details of this encounter see "Ant." VI. 9. 

675. (of Israel a little later). 

676. t. *., prophethood, which is wisdom in its highest and purest form. 
Kingship in Islam is not incompatible with the highest spiritual achievements. It 
can co-exist even with prophethood. In fact it is on occasions a special Divine 

Ireward an excellent opportunity to serve one's fellow- creatures. 

ii SUrat-ul-Baqarah 173 

677. (either of Divine revelations or of worldly crafts). 

678. i. e., of the wicked and the mischievous. 

679. i. e., by the righteous and the rightly-guided. 

680. (by the preponderance of the evil-doers and mischief-makers) . 

681. (and so He repels the rebellious and helps the righteous). 

682. (correcting the inaccuracies and distortions and rectifying mistakes of 
the present Jewish and Christian Scriptures). 

683. (O Prophet!) 

684. i. e.y one of the apostles : the Divine messengers. Note the significance 
of the epithet 'sent ones/ Prophets and apostles, in Islam, are always the sent 
ones — -—sent by God to the peoples- not themselves godlings or god-incarnations. 

174 Part III 

$> ^&^&&fc& & 3$ OSS' ^i^^^^t 


253. (^^j U . . . J-^J! c-Ctt) These messengers I 1 We have preferred 
some of them above others; to some Allah spoke directly 2 ) and some He raised 
in rank. 3 And We gave Isa, 4 son of Maryam 5 , evidences 6 , and We aided him 
with the holy Spirit 7 . And had Allah so willed, those who came after them 8 
would not have fought one against the other 9 after the clear signs had come to 
them 10 , but they fell into variance, then of them some believed and of them some 
disbelieved 11 . And had Allah so willed, they would not have fought one against 
the other, but Allah does whatever He intends 12 . 


254. (^^JUbJt . . . ^Wti«lj) O you who believe ! spend 13 of what We 
have provided you before the Day arrives when there shall be neither trading 14 nor 
friendship 15 nor intercession. 16 And it is the infidels who are the ungodly. 17 

1. (just alluded to) i.e., 'the sent ones/ 

2. (directly; without an angel as an intermediary). Such as the prophet 

3. The obvious .reference is to the holy Prophet of Islam, the Prophet par 
excellence, the most exalted of all the exalted prophets and apostles. 

4. i.e., the prophet Jesus. . 

5. i.e.,. Mary. In view of the Christian blasphemy, the fact of his being the 
son of a mere woman needed a clear pronouncement. 

6. (of his apostleship). 

7. 'Holy Spirit/ in Islam, is not the 'third Person of Trinity' but the arch- 
angel Gabriel, who was in constant attendance upon the prophet Jesus, and protected 
him — a mere mortal— from the viles of his enemies. There is no trace, either here 
or elsev/here in the Holy Qur'an, of any specially high rank being bestowed on Jesus 
above the prophets. He has simply his own place — a very honourable one no 

//, Surat-ul-Baqarah 175 

— ^— — ■ — — — — — — ^— — — — — ■ i — — — — —— —■— —————— ^ ■MHHMMBMMm 

doubt, — in the long list of the messengers of God. For ^u,^! r ») see P I. n. 375* 

8. i.e. after the apostle. 

9. (refuting and contradicting each other in matters of faith). 
10; (of Divine truths, through the apostles.) 

. 11. This, inanutshell, has been the history of the prophets and their peoples. 
The moral for the holy Prophet of Islam is to derive comfort by contemplating on 
this uniform fact of history, and n9t to expect wholesale conversion. (Th.) 

12. (in accordance with His universal Plan, and without any let or hindrance 
from any one). In the Divine plan of creation, belief and unbelief are bound, like 
light and darkness, to go hand in hand. And God's power of action is not restricted 
or limited by any conditions. His omnipotence, like His omniscience, is absolute. 

13. (in the cause of God). 

14. i.e., compensation or compounding of sins. 

15. (which could profit an infidel). 

16. (on which both Jews and Christians-the latter even more than the former — 
were wont to presume). 'We were saved through the merits of one mediator, our 
Lord Jesus Christ. . . . Christ is well qualified to be a mediator, i.e., one who brings 
estranged parties to amicable agreement. Being God and man, He can best restore 
friendship between God and the human "family/ (CD., p. 617) 'His (Christ's) action, 
to some extent His teaching, more explicity the apostolic teaching (represented by 
St. Paul, St. Peter, St. John and Ep to Heb) present Him as the Mediator with God 
on behalf of mankind, making intercession in His prayers on earth and in His heavenly 
life after the resurrection, but chiefly giving His life as a ransom, shedding His blood, 
for the remission of sin, acting as means of propitiation, doing God's will/ (DB. III. 
p. 320). The Jews also believed in the mediation of angels and 'Logos/ And 
Philo, while speaking of 'the Word' on the mediation between God and His creation, 
is quoted to have said : 'The Father who created the universe has given to His arch- 
angelic and most ancient Word a pre-eminent gift to stand on the confines of both ; 
while separating the created things from the Creator he pleads before the immortal 
God on behalf of the mortal race which sins continually, and is the ambassador sent 
by the Ruler to the subject race/ (JE. VIII. p. 409) Islam, as is evident, sweeps 
away all such fanciful, and essentially pagan, ideas of mediation, intercession and 

s • 17. i.e., the wrong their own souls by their infidelity. 

176 Part III 

255. C^JhjJ] . . . UM) A,,ah ! 18 there is no God but He ' ls the Living, 20 the 
Sustained 21 slumber seizes Him not, nor sleep. 22 His is whatever is in the 
heavens and whatever is on the earth. 1 * 3 Who ean intercede with Him, save by 
His leaye? 24 He knows whatever was before them 25 and whatever shall be after 
them. 26 And they encompass naught of His knowledge, save what He wills. 27 
His Throne 28 comprehends the heavens and the earth; and the guarding of both 
wearies Him not. 29 and He is the High, 30 the Supreme. 31 

256. LxJU . . . *!|i] -') No compulsion Is there in religion. 32 Surely 
rectitude 33 has'become distinct from error. 34 Whoso then denies Devil 35 and be- 
lieves. in Allah has of a surety laid hold of 36 the firm cable of which there is no 
breaking; 37 and Allah is Hearing, 38 Knowing. 39 

18. The verse known as the Throne Verse has often won the admiration of 
non-Muslims, even of anti-Muslims. • '. . . a magnificent description of the divine 
majesty and providence; but it must not be supposed the translation comes up to 
the dignity of the original. The passage is justly admired by the Mohammedans 
who recite it in their prayers ; and some of them wear it about them/ (Sale) 'One 
of the most admiral passages in the Koran/ (Lane) 'One of the grandest verses of 
the Quran* (Wherry). 

19. This is the creed of Islam, negativing all false gods, and affirming the unity 
of the one true God. 'There is no God but God — are words simply tantamount in 
English to the negation of any deity save one alone; and this much they certainly 
mean in Arabic, but they imply much more also. Their full sense is, not only to 
deny absolutely and unreservedly all plurality, whether of nature or of person, in the 
Supreme Being, not only to establish the Unity of the Unbegetting and Unbegot, in all 
its simple and incommunicable Oneness, but besides this the words, in Arabic and 
among Arabs, imply that this one Supreme Being is also the only Agent, the only Force, 
the only Act existing throughout the universe, and leave to all beings else, matter 
or spirit, instinct or intelligence, physical or moral, nothing but pure, unconditional 

//. Surat-ul-Baqarah 177 

passiveness, alike in movement or in quiescence, in action or in capacity/ 
(W. G. Palgrave, quoted in ERE. XL p. 757). 

20. *'.*., the Ever-living; the Deathless ; the Eternal; His existence having' 
neither beginning nor end. Even a fact so patent as the deathlessness of God has 
needed a clear affirmation in view of the peculiar sacrifice of heathen gods every 
spring, as also in view of the 'Christ-God' who suffered death at the hands of his 
persecutors. 'The putting to death of a public man-god was a common incident of 
many religions/ (Alien, op. cit.p. 90). 

21. He is Almighty and the sole Provider. He sustains the existence of 
everything and is Himself sustained or supported by nobody. By the mere mention 
of Life and Self-subsistence as His two essential attributes, the possibility of all co- 
partnership with Him is negatived outrignt. . Contrast with this the Christian belief 
that 'the Father is no more God without the Son than the Son is God without the 
Father/ (ERE. VII. p. 536) as also the Hindu belief that certain deities, at any 
rate, 'are the offspring of others, and that the gods were originally mortal, who have 
only acquired immortality either by the practice of austerities or by drinking Soma 
or else by receiving it as a gift from Agni and Savita/ (XII p. 602) Obviously 
Islam brushes aside all such absurdities. 

22. He is ever wakeful, ever watchful. Many pagan peoples have even ascrib- 
ed sleep to God. 

23. i.e., He is the absolute master ; none is His co-partner ; no, not even 
comparable to Himi 

24. So that there exists none as permanent or independent 'Mediator/ This 
completely repudiates the 'doctrine of mediation* which is peculiarly Christian. 'It 
is not only that peace with God, or the forgiveness of sins, or reconciliation, or 
eternal life for the spiritually dead is mediated through Christ and His redemption; 
Christ is presented also as the mediator of creation. All that is has come into being 
through Him/ (ERE. VIII. p. 516) See also n. 16 above. 

25. (in point of time) , i.e., the past. Or, 'that which is in front of them' in 
point of space. The pronoun has for its antecedent 'His creatures' understood. 

26. (in point of time), i.e., the future. Or, 'that which is behind them' in 
point of space. In any case, His knowledge is perfect, complete, all-embracing. 
He knows the hidden and the manifest. He knows what is in the present, what has 
been in the past, and what shall be in the future. 

27. (in accordance with His universal Plan.) So that none of His creatures, 
no, not even the angels and prophets, can be His co-equal in respect of His 

28. (of majesty) y $ 'is the place or seat of the king, and of the learned 
man ; and hence as used in the Koran it is explained as signifying Dominion, and the 
Power of God, whereby He holds the heavens and of the earth; and knowledge/ 

178 Part III 

29. (so that He needs no rest, and is never tired). This repudiates the Jewish 
and Christian idea of God 'resting' orr the seventh day after His great exertion in 
creating the universe. 'And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had 
made ; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And 
God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it : because that in it he had rested from 
all his work which pod created and made/ (Ge. 2 : 2, 3). 

30. "i.e., above all imperfections and limitations. 

31. i.e., possessor of every form of perfection. 

32. (of Islam) t.*., there is no occasion for employing coercion in the matter 
of adopting and embracing Islam as its exellence is self-evident. This is the doctrine 
of toleration in the Islam. 'Convictions are not things that can be forced. What- 
ever compulsion there is, is not in religion but out of religion. Once "the way is 
made distinct from error' 5 and faith and belief have taken a firm grip on the strong 
handle of the Truth, that service is due only to the Supreme and the Omnipotent 
Creator, Sustainer, and Developer of all creation : how ran mistrust make us waver 
and hold us back from His service ?\ (MA). 

33. i.e., the right direction ; the religion of monotheism. 

34. i.e;-, the wrong way : infidelity and polytheism. 

35. (and renounces all false religions.) eiyUaJl ' whatever is worshipped 
instead, or to the exclusion, of God/ (LL). 

36. i.e., has indeed tenaciously clung to. 

37. (either in this world or the next). True belief in God is our surest 
passport of safety both in this world and the next. It we but cling to faith, God's 
heJp will never fail us. 

38. i.e., Hearer of what proceeds from our lips. 

39. i.e., Knower of what we hide in our hearts. 

//. Surat-ul-Baqarah 179 

rgffft ; r^dfc 


257. ( «jkiVJLcw ... ^JUV) Allah is the Patron of those who believe 40 . He 
brings them forth from darkness 41 into light 42 . And as for them who disbelieve, 
their patrons are the devils 43 , they bring them forth from light into darkness. These 
are inmates of the Fire ; therein they shall abide. 


258. ( yk*±'.b . , . ■ r : : - jl) Lookedest thou 44 not at him 45 who contended 
with Ibrahim regarding his Lord 46 , because Allah had given him dominion? 47 
When Ibrahim said, 'my Lord is He who gives life and causes death 48 ; he said, 
'I give life and I cause death 49 ' Ibrahim said 50 , 'surely Allah brings the sun 51 from 
the east 52 , then bring it thou from the west 53 .' Thereupon he who disbelieved was 
confounded 54 . And Allah guides not wrongdoers 55 . 

40. (as He in fact is the only Patron or Guardian, besides Whom there exist 
no 'patron-saints/ 'gardian-angels' or 'saviours/ 

41. (of infidelity and unbelief). 

42. (of faith and belief). Note that )yXJ\> 'the light/ in the Quran is always 
in the singular, while its' antithesis i^»UJQ_jt 'darkness' is always in the plural. 
This means that the right way is only one, while the deviations from it are many. 

43. i.e., constantly seducing them. 

44. (O reader !) 

45. The allusion is, according' to the Muslim commentators, to Nimrod, the 
tyrant of Chaldea and perhaps the first Babylonian hero-god, who persecuted 
Abraham. His greatness as a king finds mention in the Bible : 'A mighty one in the 
earth' (Ge. 10:8), f a mighty hunter before the Lord' (Ge. 10 :9), and 'mighty upon 
the earth" (1 Ch. 1 : 10), he ruled over the cities of Babel, Erech, Accad and Calneh, 
in the land of Shinar (Ge. 10 :10) . . .* 'he was made king over all the people on 
earth, appointing Terah his minister. It was then, elated by so much glory, that 
Nimrod changed his behaviour toward YHWH and became the most flagrant 

180 Part III 

idolater/ (JE. IX. p. 309) 'Of all theL rulers who made themselves masters of 
lower Mesopotamia . . . the most famous was Sargon . . .and he was identified, 
perhaps rightly, with the Nimrod of the Old Testament who founded Galeh and was 
a mighty hunter before the Lord. Later documents were found which established the 
fact of his life and power, and now at Ur we have relics which add something to his 
history and illpstrate the civilisation of his time/ (Woolley, Ur of the Chaldees, 
p. 107). 'The founder of the Babylonian monarchy. He flourished about 2450 B.C, 
establishing a kingdom in the plain of Shinar/ ,(CE. VI. p. 1609). 

46. Abraham's 'contests with Nimrod . . . are not deemed as fantastic as 
they would have been half a century ago, when the very existence of Abraham was 
generally denied. At the International Congress of Orientalists in Oxford (1928) the 
lectures of Prof. Langdon and Mr. Woolley showed that at Abraham's city Ur, in 
Abraham's day and earlier, monotheistic speculations conflicted with crass idolatry.' 
(EBr. XIII. P. 165, 11th Ed.) 

47. Sun-worshippers as the Chaldeans were, Nimrod claimed to be a soler 
hero, and aspired to the position of a god. To all appearance, this King Nimrod 
is not other than the solar god Merodoch. 'Notwithstanding the difference that 
appears to exist between these two names, it is certain that they are very closely 
related ... The question whether Merodoch ever was really king of Babylon need 
not detain us here. "Suffice it to say that "the king" par excellence was one of his 
titles. This he apparently bore as "King of the gods:" but there is no reason to 
suppose, on that account, that he was not king of men during his life on earth,' 
(DB. Ill, p. 552) 'Nimrod is described in Genesis as the first "to be a 
mighty one in the earth, which Skinner in his commentary paraphrases as originator 
of the idea of the military state, based on arbitrary force." Unlike the other names 
in the Genesis context, which are names of peoples, Nimrod is that of an individual;' 
(EBr. XVI. p. 44, 1 1th Ed.) See for his 'affront and contempt of God', "Ant". 1.4 :2. 

48. i.*., all the forces of life and death are in His hands, whereas thou and 
thy gods are powerless. According to the Talmud, Abraham exclaimed before the 
King: — "Then wherefor serve him ? Why cause thy subjects to follow in thy vain 
ways? Rather serve the great Lord of the world who has power to do all the things ; 
who has the power to kill, the power to keep alive. Woe to thee, thou man of 
foolish heart ! Turn from thy evil ways, serve Him in whose hands is thy life and 
the lives of all the people." (Polano, The Talmud Selectiom , p. 37). 

49. The statement may either mean : 'I can slay whomsoever I wish and can 
let live whomsoever I wish ;' or, 'all means of sustenance are in my power and under 
my control.' Nimrod evidently missed the point of Abraham's argument altogether. 

50. (varying his illustration, to bring home to Nimrod's dull intelligence a 
yet clearer instance of his impotence and God's omnipotence). 

51. (which is itself a created being, subject to the laws of God, and not a 
deity). The Chaldeans believed in the Divinity of the sun. 

52. (everyday habitually). 

53. (even once). The meaning is : can you even once alter the ordered 
course of God's universe? 

54. (and worsted in argument; yet he did not submit to Abraham's true 

55. i.e., those who go deliberately wrong. 

//. SUrat-ul-Baqarah 181 

, t 3JT r&frUk 

259. Lj&s . . . ^J^l) Or such as he 56 who passed by a town 57 , and it 
lay overturned on its turrets 58 . He said, 'how 58 shall Allah quicken it 60 after its 
death?* 1 ' Thereupon Allah made him dead for a hundred years and then raised 
him up, and. said, 'how long hast thou tarried'? 62 He said, 'I have tarried a day or 
.part of a day'. Allah said, 'nay! thou hast tarried a hundred years; look at thy 
food and thy drink; they have not rotten 63 ; and look at thy ass 64 . And this We 
have done in order that We may make, of thee a sign 65 unto men; and look thou 
at thebones 66 , how We shall set them up and clothe them with flesh 67 .' Then 
when it became clear to him 68 , he said 69 , 'I know 70 that surely Allah is Potent over 

260. Lx<s± . . . II; iS|; •) And re-call when Ibrahim said, 'my Lord! 
show me 71 how 72 Thou wilt quicken the dead 73 .' He said 74 , 'Dost thou not be- 
lieve?' He said, 'Yea 75 but 76 that my heart may rest at ease 77 .' He said, 'take four 
birds, and tame them unto thee 78 , and then put a part of them 79 on each hill, and 
thereafter summon them; they will come to thee speeding 80 . And know then 
that surely Allah is Mighty 81 , Wise 82 .' 


261. Yj^JU . . . ^wiJl JJU)The likeness of those who spend their riches 
in the way of Allah is as the likeness of a grain 83 that grows seven ears and in 
each ear one hundred grains 84 ; and Allah multiplies unto whom He will 85 . And 
Allah is Bountiful 86 , Knowing 87 . 

56. i.e., the prophet Ezra or 'Uzair according to the commentators. 

57. The town probably was Jerusalem, as guessed by the commentators, 
after its desolation, in 599 B.C., at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar.- 

58. i.e., desolate and completely in ruins. ^&v£ is, 'the roof of a house, 
or the like/ And the phrase means : 'Having fallen down upon its roofs : meaning 
that its walls were standing when their roofs had become demolished and had fallen 
to the foundations, and the walls fell down upon the roofs demolished before them/ 

1 82 part ln 

59. i.e., in what way. The person is a believer in Resurrection. He has no 
intention to question the fact of it. Merely overpowered with awe and astonishment 
at a particularly desolute sight, he asks himself, how could a town so utterly ruined 
be brought back to life ? To instil in him a yet greater assurance and to provide for 
him an ocular demonstration of His working, God wrought the miracle detailed in 
the text. 

60. (town and its dwellers). 

6L (on the Day of Resurrection). 

62. (in this state of lifelessness). 

63. (in spite of the lapse of years, and in this way We keep preserved and 
intact whatever We will) . 

64. (dead and turned to dust except for its bones) . 

65. (of Our Omnipotence, i.e., an instance of Our infinite and unbounded 

66. (of thy ass). 

67. (and reinspire the beast with life) . 

68. (as a matter of personal experience). 

69. (in an outburst of fresh conviction and a faith strengthened a thousand 
times by immediate personal experience) . 

70. (in the very depths of my heart). 
.71. (by some practical instance). 

72. i.e., in what particular way out of several conceivable ways. (Th) 

73. (on the Day of Resurrection). 

74. 'to enable Abraham to demonstrate to the world his staunch and 
unflinching faith in Him and His ways/ (Th) 

75. i\*., certainly Ido believe, and have full faith. 

76. (Iask this). 

77. (by having an ocular demonstration of God's OWN way of reviving the 
dead and in order to perfect my faith yet more). 'The prophet Abraham who 
uttered these words, after having requested God to show him the raising of the dead 
to life, was not lacking in faith ; but he knew that, if he were to witness resurrection 
with his own eyes, all possible doubts would be dispelled for ever. He believed that 
God had this power ; the mental acknowledgement (tasdiq) was already there. But 
his faith would become more intense if he were allowed to obtain full certainty by 
witnessing it with his bodily eyes (' ain-ul-yaqiri) .' (ASB. I. p. 38). 

78. (by taming them and keeping them as thy pets) . 

79. i.e., of each one of the four birds after cutting them to pieces and 
mingling their flesh and feathers together. The word ^ in correct Arabic does 
not imply an individual or one whole thing. It is only 'A part, or portion ; . . . a 
constituent part of a thing: . . . an ingredient of any compound or mixture/ (LL) 

.//. Sdrat-ul-Baqarah 183 

80. i.e., one part of each animal shall fly to the other, till all of them recover 
their original form and figure. 

81. i.e., Able to do anything and everything. 

82. i.e., Doer only of what is in accordance with His universal Plan and 
infinite Wisdom. 

83. (of corn). 

84. Thus God rewards them seven hundred times. 

85. (commensurate with the degree of the donor's disinterestedness and true 

86. (so that His bounty shall not fail any one deserving of it) . 

87. (so that He is well aware of the purity of motives, or its reverse, in every 

184 Part III 

262. ( ^y'viaaj . . -^oJ! ) Those who spend their riches in the way of 
Allah and do not follow up what they have spent by taunt 88 or injury 89 , therein as 
their wage with Allah, on them shall come no fear, nor shall they grieve 90 . 

263. (+*lz» . . . J)3) An honourable word 91 and forgiveness 92 are better 93 
than an alms followed by injury; and Allah is Self-sufficing 94 , Forbearing 96 . 

264. l^JtyfiX)] . . . tfj±X$j lj) you who believe! void not your charities 
by taunt and by harm 96 , like unto him who spends his riches to be seen of men 97 , 
and does not believe in Allah and the Last Day 98 . The likeness of him is as the 
likeness of a' smooth rock on which is dust; a torrent falls on it and leaves it bare 99 . 
They 100 shall not have power over aught they have earned 101 . And Allah guides 
not an infidel people. 

88. i.e., words of taunt or reproach addressed to the person whom they have 

89. i.e.-, deeds of violence. Charity, to be charity, must always be clean, 
pure, and disinterested. 

90. (on the Day of Judgment). 

91. (of refusal). 

92. (granted to the beggar if he is wantonly insolent). 

93. (a thousand times). The whole phrase means : 'Refusal with pleasing or 
gracious speech and prayer expressed to the beggar that God may sustain him, and 
forgiveness granted to the beggar for his importunity . . . are better than an alms 
with annoyance followed by reproach for a benefit conferred and for begging. 

94. i.e., Independent of all wants. So he who spends benevolently does so for 
his own benefit, and not to do Him any good. 

95. (so He does not punish the violators of these rules of conduct immediately). 

96. Very noticeable is the emphasis which the Holy Qur'an lays on the 
standard of charity being kept high. The kindly feeling of the giver is far more 
valuable than the gift itself. 

//. Surat-ul-Baqarah 185 

97. Cf. the NT. 'Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be 
seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven/ 
(Mt. 6:1) 

98. i e. 9 who is an infidel and wastes his charity altogether. Note the difference 
between the two cases. The man of faith who follows his act of charity by words of 
reproach or deeds of violence deprives himself of its manifeld reward; the unbeliever 
makes his charity void altogether, and shall get no spiritual benefit out of it at all, 

99. (as before). So will these men without faith find themselves bare of all 
reward on the Day of Judgment. 

100. i.e.. those who are without faith ; the infidels. 

101. i.e., of their works. 

185 Part III 

265. (j*-^ • • • 'i*i&\ ip* 5) ^"^ l ^ e P ara ^' e °* them who s P end their 
riches seeking the pleasure of Allah 102 and for the strengthening of their souls 103 is 
as the parable of a garden on height ; a torent falls on it, and it yields its fruits 
twofold; and if no torrent falls on it, then even a gentle rain 104 . And Allah is 
Beholder of whatever you do 105 . 

266- f^y^' . • • 4}-»l) Would any of you have for himself a garden of date- 
palms 105 -^ and grape-vines 106 -* beneath which rivers flow and all sorts of fruit there- 
in are for him, then old age should befall him while he has a progeny of weaklings, 
. and that thereafter a whirlwind wherein is fire should smite it, 106 so that all is 
consumed 107 ? Thus dose Allah expound to you His signs that haply you may 


267. (a. ^ ... .jiJitfejU) you who believe! spend 108 out of the good 
things you have earned 109 , and of what We have produced for you from the earth; 
and seek not the vile of it to spend, whereas you yourselves would not accept 
such except that you connived at it. And know that Allah is Self-sufficing 110 , 
Praiseworthy 111 . 

102. This seeking of the goodwill of the Lord is the only real motive force with 
all true believers in every action of theirs. 

103. Since every fresh act of- self-sacrifice makes their love of good still deeper 
and stronger. 

104. (Sufficeth it because of the excellence of the soil). 

105. (and of the purity of your motives). 

105-A. The tree par excellence of Arabia. ' Among the Arabian flora the date-palm 
tree is queen. It bears the most common and esteemed fruit : the fruit (tamr) par excel- 
lence. Together with milk it provides the chief item on the menu of Be^milA, and, 
except for camel flesh, is his only solid food/ (Hitti, History of the Arabs p. 19). The 
first care of the oasis-dweller Arabs is the date-palm. 'It is the main source of their 

//. Surat-uf-Baqarah 187 

— — • ' ' " I . I II I I— »^— ■ — — — — — ^— I II I . — ^— 

wealth, the riches of a garden^owner being proportionate to the number of the date- 
trees he owns . . . By virtue .of its manifold utility, the date-palm occupies the same 
important position in the practical life and general economy of the oasis-dwellers as 
does the camel in that of the pastoral nomads. Its fruit is the staple article of food 
among the settlers, and forms a substantial part of all their meals—breakfast, midday 
meaj and supper— in the case of rich and poor alike/ (Inayatullah, Geographical 
Factors in Arabian Life and History, p. SI). 

105-B. A plant well known in certain parts of Arabia. c Among the domestic 
plants, the grape-vine, introduced from Syria after the fourth Christian century, 
is well represented in Al-Ta'if, and yields the alcoholic beverage styled nabldh al- 
zablb: (Hitti, op. cit. 19). 

106. i.e., the garden. 

107. Such is the alms given by the infidels which shall perish, and will be of 
no service the giver of it in the Hereafter. 

108. (in alms). 

109. (in a lawful, honourable way). 

1 10. (so He is in no need of your presents which even you deem worthless) . 
•■■•I'll.- (and absolutely Perfect in His Person and Attributes; so strive for 

perfection in all that you offer in His name). 

188 \Pan III 

268. UxU . . . ^^£\) Satan threatens you with poverty 112 , and com- 
mands ypu to ungodliness, whereas Allah promises you forgiveness from Him- 
self 113 and abundance 114 ; and Allah is Bountiful 116 ; Knowing 116 . 

269. (ljI*M!..'. • ^j) He grants wisdom 117 to whom He will, and he 
who is granted wisdom is indeed granted abundant good, 11 * and none receives 
admonition 119 save men of understanding. 

270. (jUwj ..■!.» . , U 5 ) And whatever you spend or whatever you vow, 120 
surely Allah knows them 121 , and for --the ungodly 122 there will be no helpers. 

271. ( y &&> . ... L^ .J) If you publish the alms 123 , even so it is well, 
and if you conceal them and give them to the poor, it will be better for you 124 , 
and He will expiate some of your misdeeds 126 . Allah is Aware of what you 
do 126 . 

272 ' (&+*** • • • u"*>) Ndt on thee127 is their 128 guidance, but Allah 
guides whom He will 129 . And whatsoever of good you spend it is for your own 
souls; and you spend not save to seek Allah's countenance 130 , and whatever of 
good you spend shall be repaid to you 131 , and you shall not be wronged. 

112. The devil instils the fear in your mind that you shall be reduced to 
poverty by your contributing liberally to the works of charity and public good. 

113. (in the Hereafter, in return for that you expend cheerfully in His 

1 14. c to some even in this world, and to all in the Hereafter/ (Th). 

115. i.e., Able to repay all and sundry. 

116. i.e., Aware of the inner feelings and motives. 

117. i.e., the understanding of the Divine truths. 

118. Since no worldly gift can equal the great blessing of comprehending the 
Divine truths. 

119. (thereby) i.e. none takes the lessons conveyed by the Divine Book to 

II: SDrat-ul-Baqarah 189 

120. (to spend, or to offer in bodily devotions). 

121. (and shall reward each and all accordingly) . 

1 22 ,. ."*.*., those who do not observe the bounds o£ Allah, 

123. (on occasions when publicity is needed or desirable in public interest). 

124. The general rule is to conceal the acts of charity : manifesting them is 
allowed only on proper occasions. When, for instance, a man is dying of hunger at 
a public place, and is in dire neec 1 of instantaneous relief, to refuse to feed him 
because the place is an open one, would be sheer folly and an act morally criminal. 

125. (thereby: for those acts of charity). Incidentally this repudiates the 
Christian doctrine that there is no remission without shedding of blood. 

126. (so He looks above all to your inner motives). 
.127. (O Prophet!). 

128. jU, the 'infidels/ 

129. (in accordance with His universal Plan). So relief may unhesitatingly be 
given to any one in distress whether, believing or disbelieving. Nobody is to be 
denied help on the score of his unbelief. Some Muslims in the Prophet's time 
hesitated to support the infidel paupers. The verse removed their doubts. 

130. (and this, can be obtained by relieving any one in distress, apart from his 
views and beliefs), 

131. (infull). 

190 P&t m 




273. ( f *JU . '.■ . IjJttJU") Charities are 1 * 2 for the poor who are sustained- in 
the way of Allah 133 , disabled from going about in the land 134 . The unknowing 
takes them for the affluent because of their modesty 135 , thou 136 wouldst recognize 
them by their mark, they beg not of men because of their modesty. And what- 
ever of good 137 you will spend, surely Allah is the Knower thereof. 


274. "'■ ( ^.; jsu . • . ^>4.Jt ) Those who spend their riches night and day 138 , 
secretly and openly 13 *, their wage shall be therein with their Lord; no fear shall 
come oh them, nor shall they grieve 140 . 

132. (meant primarily and in the first place). For others also they are 

133. i.e., in the service of the religion. 

134. (to earn their livelihood). 

135. (and abstention from begging). 

136. (O reader !). 

137. (to relieve such people). 

138. i.e., at all hours. 

139. (whatever may suit the occasion). 

140. (in the Hereafter). 

/A SQrat-uhBaqarah 

275. (^.jjla. • • • ^^Jl) Those who devour usury 141 shall not be able to 
stand 142 except as stands he whom Satan has confounded with his touch 143 . This 
is because they say: 'trade is but as usury' 144 : whereas Allah has allowed trade 145 
and has forbidden usury 146 . So he who receives an admonition from his Lord, 
and has desisted 147 / may keep 148 what is past 149 / and his affair 150 is with Allah 151 
bdt he who reverts 152 — such shall be the inmates of the Fire; therein they 163 shall 


276. (,£■! % . . idJljisu..*) Allah obliterates usury 153 -' 4 , and augments 
charity 154 - And Allah loves not any ingrate 155 sinner 156 . 

277. ( J\.<s*> . . . ,ji.M \\\ Surely those who believe and work right- 
eously and establish prayer and pay the poor-rate/their wage shall be then with 
their Lord; and no fear shall come on them nor shall they grieve 157 . 

278. •'(. \,\*** . . . j,5JI UjL>) you who believe! fear Allah and waive 
what has yet remained of the usury due to you 15 *, if you are believers 1 ™. 

279. ( ,, r JUi; . . . J u). But if you do not, then beware of war from 
Allah and His messenger 160 . And if you repent 161 , yours shall be your principal 
sums; neither wrong ot hers 1 * 2 ndr be wronged yourselves 16 ' 6 . 

280. (^u*J.. . J 5 ) And if one 164 should be in difficulties, then let 
there be a respite till easiness 165 . But if you waive 166 the sum, it will be better lof 
you, if y° u but kn ow 167 - 

141. The- Arabic -word ^ is but partially covered by the English word 
'usury' which, in modern parlance, signifies only an 'exorbitant' or extortionate 
interest.' The Arabic |^ )5 on the other hand, means any addition, however slight, 
over and above the principal sum lent, and thus includes both 'usury' and 'interest/ 
In the language of modern socialism, interest is an unjustifiable tax on the labouring 
classes the unpaid wage of the labourer. According to the socialist writers of to-day, 
money is lent by them who have abundance and returns to them to increase that 
abundance, the increase being the unpaid dues of labour, which is the only source 
of wealth — the rich are thus made richer and thepoor poorer, by every fresh act of 

192 Part III 

taking interest, and the stability of social organism is disturbed. 

142. (upon rising from their graves on the Day of Resurrection) . 

143. *.*., like possessed persons, distracted and horror-stricken, with their 
bodies in violent convulsions. 

144. i.e., trading also has gain and profit as its object, and it is admittedly 
lawful; then why not usury? 

145. Thus there is a world of difference between the two. The Author of all 
laws, physical as well as moral, has allowed the one and disallowed the other. What 
greater difference could there conceivably be between any two things in the world ? 
The one was comparable to light ; the other to darkness. Money-lending, it has truly 
been remarked, is neither a profession nor a trade. It is not a profession since it 
calls for no special education or technical knowledge. It is not a trade since there 
is no sale of any kind in it. It is an occupation, and one of the dirtiest since it takes 
mean advantage of human distress and thrives on it. Those who are engaged in this 
business, are as a rule callously mean, who find that the easiest way of increasing their 
riches is by. taking advantage of men in distress who may safely be dominated artd 
bullied. See appendix at the end of the sUrah, 

146. The devastating propensities of usury are visible to every eye. The evils 
attendant on it are neither few nor far between— the collousness it engenders, the 
profligacy it lets loose, the greed it. encourages, the jealousy it breeds, the misery 
it entails, the abjectness it inculcates, an so on. Yet it is Islam alone that has the 
unique distinction of declaring this pernicious practice illegal absolutely and 
unconditionally. Greece and Rome both groaned heavily under its yoke, but none 
of their legislators, like the economists of modern Europe, thought of banning it 
altogether. In Greece, ' the bulk of the population . . .became gradually indebted 
to the rich to such an extent that they were practically slaves/ And 'usury had 
given all the power of the state to a small plutocracy/ (EBr. XXVII. p. 812, 
11th Ed.) The Romans fared still worse. 'The attempt to regulate the rate of 
interest utterly failed. In the course of two or three centuries the small free 
farmers were utterly destroyed. By the pressure of war and taxes they were all 
driven into debt, and debt ended practically, if not technically, in slavery/ (ib.) 
With all these horrors, experienced and patiently borne, nobody ventured to 
eradicated the evil root and branch. The utmost that a Solon among the ancients 
or a Bacon among the moderns could advise was. to 'grind the tooth of usury, that 
it bite not too much, that is to say, to regulate its rate, without attaching the 
slightest moral taint to the usurer. The Bible went no doubt many steps further 
inasmuch as it forbade the advance of usurious loans to the Israelites. 
(Ex. 22 : 25 : Dt. 23 : 19). But even the Biblical prohibition did not include usurious 
loans to non-Israelities. It is the Holy Qur'an which, to its everlasting glory, has 
forbidden usury in all its forms categorically. 

147. (from usurious dealings and from thinking them legal). 

//. SUrat-ul-Baqarah 193 

148. (the profit of). 

149. *.<., the interest already received prior to the prohibitation : and he shall 
not be called upon to repay what he has already taken. So far with the legal aspect 
of the question. 

150. (of conscience). 

■151. (who alone knows whether one's penitence is genuine or faked). The 
legal, the outward, the public aspect being definitely settled, the moral, the inner, 
the private 'affair' of each individual rests with God. 

152. (to usury). 

153. t.*., those who consider these dealings still legal. 

153- A. The great Prophet Muhammad— peace be unto him— with inspired 
insight saw the harm and misery caused by the wretched tribe of money-lenders and 
enjoined the faithful not to lend money on interest. Certainly one of the wisest of 
economic laws. Economists have noted the fact that in countries -where high rates 
of interests are permitted industry and commerce do not flourish. This fact is best 
exemplified in the U.S.A. where the laws of usury are not uniform throughout the 
States. In different States the legal rates of interest vary all the way from 3 per cent 
to 9 per cent per annum x and it is noticeable that in the States where the rate of 
interest is low, commerce and industry flourish and the people are more prosperous; 
while in the other States, especially in those where 7 per cent and more are allowed, 
it is not so. . 

154. (invariably in the Hereafter ; and sometimes also in this world). 

155. i.e., he who still holds usury legal. 

156. i. e., he who still has usurious dealings. 

157. (in the Hereafter). 

158. (when the prohibition was made known). 

159. (for belief implies obedience to the Divine Law). 

160. *.*., war will be declared upon you by the Prophet and the Muslims. Cf. 
the teaching of the OT :— '(He) hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase ; 
shall he then live? He shall not live : . . . he shall surely die ; his blood shall be upon 
him/ (Ezk. 18 : 13.) On this passage of the OT, the comment of the Talmud is, 
"The money-lender is compared to a murderer." 'The Mishnah includes the usurer 
among those who are disqualified from giving evidence in a court of law/ 
(EiRE. XII. p. 558). And among the Jews of the 20th century 'the trade of usury is 
looked upon with shame, and the usurer is stigmatised as a reproach to his people/ 
(ib.) 'The Book of Islam contains so many other prohibitory; injunctions, but words 
so strong as the above have not been used in any other injunction. The Prophet 
too made great efforts to eradicate this evil of riba. The treaty made with the 
Christians of Najran contained a definite clause which laid down that if they would 
indulge in transaction involving riba the treaty would become automatically null and 

194 Part III 

161. (from usurious transactions; and mend your ways). 'The Banu Mughlra 
were famous money-lenders of Arabia. After the conquest of Makka the Prophet 
wrote to his 'amil to declare all the sums due to them on account of ribn as unlawful 
and to wage war against them if they persisted in their demands for the same. On 
the day of the last Haj performed by him, the Prophet declared that ail sums due on 
account of riba since the days of Jahiliya were cancelled and that he himself set an 
example by declaring the similar dues of his uncle 'Abbas as cancelled. He went to 
the length of saying that all the parties to a transaction involving riba — even the 
transcriber and the witnesses — deserved the curse of Allah ! Ail these injunctions do 
not imply that the form of interest known as usury alone was to be abolished and 
other forms to be maintained. They really aimed at eradicating the mentality, the 
ethical standards, the culture and the economic organization of the capitalistic 
system and to establish a new system in which niggardliness should give place to 
charity, selfishness to sympathy and co-operation, ribn to zakat, banking to bait-ul-mal 
and thus to obviate the circumstances which may give rise to co-operative societies, 
insurance companies and provident funds/ (AAM). 

162. (others, by demanding from them more than the amount lent). This, 
when a Muslim lends. 

163. (yourselves, by having to pay more than the sum borrowed) . This, when 
a Muslim borrows. 

164. i.e., the debtor. 

165. i.e., until he is in easy circumstances. 'The regulation does great credit to 
Muhammad, and is yet carried out in practice by many of his followers/ 

166. (your loan altogether as alms). A practical lesson in humanity and 
human sympathy. 

167. (the reward you will merit thereby). 'That the Prophet did much to put 
down injustice and oppression, no one can deny ; and in his enactments concerning 
the treatment of debtors we have another proof to this/- (Roberts, Social Laws of the 
Qoran, p. 101). 'The law of the Qpran as well as the enactments of the Muhammedan 
doctors, when compared with those of the Old Testament and of Hammurabi are 
lenient and just. And especially so, when we further compare rhem with the Roman 
law of debt, according to which a debtor might even be put to death, and where the 
cruel exactions of creditors several times led to serious disturbances/ (rt.p. 103). 

//. Sdrat-ul-Baqarah 195 

281. (^ntlfry . . . ^i 5 ) And fear the Day when you shall be brought 
back to Allah, then each soul shall be repaid in full what he has earned and 
they 168 shall not be wronged. 

168. Such abrupt change of number, from singular to plural, is not 
uncommon in Arabic. 


282. L^ju . . ♦ ^j^JII^jIj) you who believe! when you borrow one 
from another for a time stated, write it down 169 , and let a scribe write it down 
justly between you, and let not the scribe refuse to write according as Allah has 
taught him. So let him write then, and let the debtor dictate, and let hirn fear 
Allah, his Lord, and diminish not aught of it 170 . But if he who oweth is witless 171 
or infirm 172 or unable to dictate 173 , then let his guardian 174 dictate justly. And 
call to witness two witnesses of your men 175 , and if the two be not men, then a 
man and two women 176 of those you agree upon as witnesses, so that if one of 
the twain errs 177 , then the other will remind her 178 . And let not the witnesses 
refuse when they are called on. And be hot loth to write it 179 down, be it small 
or big, with its term: this is most equitable in the sight of Allah and most upright 
for testimony, and likelier that you will not be in doubt— unless it be a transaction 
concluded on the spot between you 180 ; for then there shall be no blame on you 
if you do not write it down. And call witnesses when you are transacting business 
with one another; and let not the scribe come to harm nor the witness 181 ; and if 
you do 182 , surely it shall be ungodliness in you 183 . Fear Allah: and Allah teaches 
you 184 ; and Allah is the Knower of everything 185 . 

283. Lju • • • *xjl5 J .) Arid if you be journeying and you do not find 
a scribe, then let there be a pledge taken; then, if one of you entrusts the other 186 , 
let the one who is entrusted 487 discharge his trust 188 , and let him fear Allah, his 
Lord. And do not withhold the testimony 189 ; and whatsoever withhoideth it, his 
heart surely is sinful. And Allah is the Knower of what you do 190 . 

169. (in a document). 

170. i.e. of what he owes. 

171. ^^may also signify, ignorant of the ordinances, or statutes; one who 
does riot dictate well and does not know what dictation is/ (LL). 

172. i.e., either of an immature age or senile. 

II. Surat-uhBaqarah 197 

173. i.e., dumb, for instance, or a foreigner, ignorant of the language of the 
land.. : ■■."■>:,-:•.: 

174. i.e., whoever manages his affairs, whether his father, heir or some one 

.175. i.e., from -among the Muslims. They must be adults, of unimpaired 
reason, free men (not staves) , and of good character. Disputes are to be decided on 
the testimony of these witnesses, and not on the strength of the written documents, 
the role of which is only secondary or subsidiary. 

176. In the Jewish code the testimony of a woman is inadmissible. 'The 
witnesses must be men, not women or minors' (ET. p. 326). e Let not the testimony of 
women be admitted, on account of the levity and boldness of their sex' (*'Ant*\ IV. 
8:15). 'The witness must be a man, not a woman' ( JE. V. p. 277). 

177. (in her memory). 

178. Compare the findings of modern science in regard to the status of female 
testimony:— f In women deception is almost physiological .. .The same fact is more 
coarsely and ungraciously stated in the proverbs of many nations, and in some 
countries it has led to the legal testimony of women being placed on a lower footing 
than that of men/ (Havelock Ellis. Man and Woman, p.. 196) Lombroso and Ferrero 
actually regard deception as being 'physiological' in woman , . . The evidence of 
profound psychologists, the substance of myths, the content of national proverbs, the 
personal experience, in short, of all those who have learnt to know woman generation 
after generation, all point to this conclusion, that there is a certain duplicity and 
unscrupulousness in their nature/ (Ludovici, Woman, p. 281-82) 'The fact that women 
are difficult to deal with under cross-examination is well known among lawyers, and 
their skill in drawing red-herrings across the path of any enquiry directed against them- 
selves, makes them stubborn and evasive witnesses at all times when they have anything 

to conceal/ (ib. p. 320). 'We are again and again forced to admit that a woman is not 
in a position to judge objectively, without being influenced by her emotions.' 
(Bauer, op, cit. I p, 289). And compare also an observation of Schopenhauer : 'In 
a court of justice women are more often found guilty of perjury than men. It is 
indeed to be generally questioned whether they should be allowed to take an oath at 
all/ On the suggestibility of women see also Sidis' Psychology of Suggestion, pp. 

179. i.e., the transaction. 

180. i.e., hand-to-hand; not on credit, ty\&\ is, 'The giving and taking, from 
hand to hand without delay/ And the phrase in the text means, 'Ready merchandise, 
which ye give and take among yourselves, from hand to hand, without delay i.e. not 
on credit/ (LL). 

181. (nor are they to be unnecessarily inconvenienced in any way). 

182. (such harm). 

183. i.e. it will be counted in you as a crime. 

1 98 Part III 

184. (all that is to your good). Commercial morality is here taught on the 
highest plane and yet in the most practical manner, both as regards the bargains to 
be made, the evidence to be provided, the doubts to be avoided, and the duties and 
rights of scribes and witnesses. Probity even in worldly matters is to be not a mere 
matter of convenience or policy but a matter of conscience and religious duty. 
Even our every-day transactions are to be carried out as in the presence of God/ 

185. (so He knows the obedient from the rebellious, and will requite each 

186. (and deposits a thing with another on trust). 

187. (and who has now become a trustee or depositary in the legal sense). 

188. This forbids all embezzlement and breach of trust. 

189. (either by suppressing it altogether or by twisting or distorting, as both 
have the effect of concealing the truth). The injunction is of general application, 
and extends to all juristic acts, such as marriage, dower, divorce, mortgage, will, 
inheritance and the like. 

190. (so no sinner can ever elude Him.) 

//. SQrat-u/Baqarah 199 

c4^= i & ^ ^u ^;^.i i&^i J^wi <^% 


284. (.jjj . . . U *JU) Allah's is. whatever is in the heavens and what- 
ever is in the earth, and whether you reveal what is in your mind" 1 or hide it 
Allah will reckon with you therefor 192 , then He will forgive whom He will 193 and 
torment whom He will 194 , and Allah is potent over everything 105 . 

285. (^^.jjlJ:^! . • . JvnH^l) The messenger believes in what is sent 
down to him from his Lord 196 , and so do the believers. They all believe in Allah 197 
and His angels 198 and His Books 199 and His messengers 200 , saying 'we dis- 
criminate not against any of His messengers' 201 . And they say, 'we hear and 
obey; Thy forgiveness, our Lord! and to Thee is our return'. 

286. ( .yjixJl . . • i_ftJLCjll) Allah charges not a soul excepting according 
to its capacity. For it shall be the good it earns 202 , and against it the evil it 
earns 203 : Our Lord! reckon with us not if we forget or err. Our Lord! burden us 
not like unto those Thou burdenedest before us 204 . Our Lord! impose not on us 
that for which we have not strength. And pardon us, forgive us, and have mercy 
on us. Thou art our Master, so make us triumph over the disbelieving people 205 . 

191. (of deliberate evil intentions). 

192. It is only deliberate and voluntary evil intentions, as distinguished from 
mere fleeting and involuntary evil thoughts that are punishable. 

193. (in the exercise of His prerogative of Mercy). 

194. (in order to meet the ends of justice and retribution). 

195. (and therefore He acts in every case, without the intervention of any 
possible 'Saviour'). 

196. The first to believe in the Message is the apostle himself. 

197. i.e., in His Existence, His Soleness, His Unity, and in the perfection of 
His Attributes. 

198/ (Who are not sub-deities or godlings). 

200 Part III 

199. (which are not human compilations — fruits of human ingenuity) . 

200. (who are not God's. 'Sons' or 'Incarnations'). 

201. (so far as the fact of aposTleship is concerned hy accepting some and 
rejecting the others unlike the Jews who receive Moses and reject Jesus, also unlike 
the Christians, who receive the prophets of Israel but reject the holy Prophet of 

202. (by choice), So no one shall be held answerable for such thoughts and 
feelings as intrude themselves on one's mind. All non-deliberate, non-voluntary states 
of mind are excluded from accountability. Each one is responsible for what he 
acquires, earns. 

203. (by choice). So every one must win his own redemption. In Islam there 
is neither an 'original sin' nor 'universal redemption'. Every individual must 
work out the propensities of his soul — his own possibilities of spiritual success or 

204. (and the Jews in particular). Cf. the NT :— 'Why tempt ye God, to 
put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able 
to bear?' (Ac. 15:10). 

205. (who are Thy enemies). l^ Ij^ajt is not 'help us against- — — ', as 
generally mistranslated, but 'grant us victory or conquest over 


■ (Se$ -perse. 275, Chapter II) 

Editor ; Tarjuman-ul-Qur* "an, Lahore 

Bai' is a transaction in which the seller offers a commodity for sale to the 
buyer for some consideration as price by paying which the buyer takes possession of 
that commodity. The seller may have himself produced or manufactured the 
commodity or bought it of another person. In either case he charges an additional 
sum over and above the principal that he invested in producing or procuring the 
thing as compensation for his own labour which forms his profit. 

Now let us see what is riba. A man lends his capital to another on the 
condition that after a certain time he would charge a fixed amount of money in 
addition to his capital. This additional amount, which is interest or riba, is a 
consideration not of any labour or commodity but of the time for which the 
principal has been borrowed. Even in fas' if the. payment of the price of a 
commodity is deferred on the condition that in the case of non-payment on the fixed 
date the price will be increased, this will mean interest or riba. 

Riba, in essence, is thus an amount charged on the principal as a considera- 
tion for the time during which the principal is to be used, and it consists of three 
elements, viz., addition to the principal, the. rate of that addition according to time, 
and the payment of the additional amount being a condition of the bargain. AH 
transactions involving these three elements come under the category of riba. 

Between the buyer and seller there is an equal exchange of profit, for the 
buyer utilises the commodity purchased and the seller gains the profit of his labour, 
time and intellect used by him in the production of the commodity. In contrast to 
this in the transactions involving ribn± the exchange of profits is not equitable and 
reciprocal. The creditor receives a fixed amount of money which is a sure profit to 
him, but the debtor has only the consideration of time which is not a sure source of 
profit. If he has borrowed money for his personal use the time element is of no use 
to him. If he has borrowed it for the purpose of trade, agriculture or industry, the 
time element is equally likely to cause harm or givebenefit. The creditor is entitled 
to the fixed profit whether the debtor gains or loses. The transaction thus 
involves one party in loss and is a source of gain to the other or while it is a source 
of sure and definite gain to one it is a source of uncertain and indefinite gain to 

There is another very important difference between bai c and riba. While in 
a commercial transaction the seller may gain the maximum amount of profit which 

202 _^ 

has to be paid by the buyer only once, in a transaction involving ribd the creditor 
receives profit over his capital continuously, the amount of the profit increasing as 
the time passes. The profit of the debtor gained out of the capital borrowed will be 
definite, the profit of the creditor will be indefinite and may engulf within its 
octopus-like grip all that the debtor possesses besides the capital borrowed by him. 

The third important difference between bai c and ribn is that while in bai' the 
transaction is complete with the exchange of commodity and price, and the buyer 
has not to return anything to the seller which is likely to be consumed (in the case 
of the renting of a house or land the same is not to be consumed in any way and is 
returned intact), in the transaction involving ribd, the debtor, after having utilised 
or consumed the capital, has to produce it anew for repayment to the creditor along 
with an additional amount of interest. 

Again, while in commercial, industrial or agricultural transactions a man 
reaps the profit of his labour and intellect ; in the transactions involving ribn he has 
a lion's share in the income of his debtor by lending him his surplus capital. He is 
not a proportionate partner both in gain and loss, but he is a partner entitled to 
profit irrespective of the fact whether the debtor is benefiting by the transaction or 
not, and in the case of gain, without any reference to the extent of that gain. 

Such are the reasons on account of which God has allowed bai' and 
disallowed ribd. There are ethical reasons too, besides these. Ribn inculcates 
niggardliness, selfishness, cruelty, worship of wealth and other similar vices. It 
destroys the spirit of sympathy and mutual help and co-operation. It exhorts 
people to accumulate wealth and to spend it in their personal interests only. It 
checks the free circulation of wealth in the community. It creates a channel 
through which wealth flows from the poor to the rich. Owing ^o it the wealth of 
the community accumulates in the coffers of a selected few which ultimately involves 
the whole community in economic ruin. 

As is well known to the expert in the principles of economic science, all the 
above effects of ribd are natural. Nor can anyone deny that the ethical, social and 
economic system that Islam propounds has no place in itself for ribd which is in 
conflict with every detail of that system. Even the remotest and the most innocent 
form of ribn is derogatory to the fair face of that system. That is why the Book of 
Islam so forcefully declares : 

O you who believe! fear Allah, and give up what remains of (your 
demand for) usury, if you are indeed believers. If you do it not, 
then take notice of "war" from Allah and His Prophet. And if you 
repent (for your past wrongs), you shall have your capital back. 
Deal not unjustly (to your fellow-men) and you shall not be dealt 
with unjustly. 


///. SQ rat-ul-'imran * 303 

* *'\* : 

Surat-ul-'Imrati 206 
Family of 'Imranu III 

(Madinian, 20-Sections and 199 Verses) 

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate/ the Merciful. 


1. (jt) Alif-Lam— Mim 207 

2. (L^M . . . *JUl) Al,aht there is n0 God but He20g ' the .Living 809 ; the 
Sustained 10 

3. ( LusJH! . • • Jy) He has revealed 211 the book tp thee with truth 212 , 
confirming whaVwent before it 213 , and He sent down the Tawrat 214 and InjTl 216 . 

4. (,Uxj| . . . ^J\ Aforetime, for -a guidance to the people 2 * 6 , and sent 
down the Criterion 217 . Sureiy those who deny the signs of Allah 218 , for them 
shall be a terrible torment, and Allah is Mighty 219 , Lord of Retribution 220 . 

5. (*L*JI . . . UJljj) Surely Allah! naught is hidden from Him 221 in 
the earth or in the heaven 222 . 

6. LaXsJ! . . . *&],*) He jt is who 223 fashions you 224 in the wombs 226 
as He will 226 ; "there is no^God but He 227 , the Mighty 228 , the Wise 229 ! 

206. In the tenth year of Hijrah, a deputation of fourteen leading men 
from the Christian colony of Najran, in the south of Arabia, waited upon the 
Prophet in Madina. He had an argument with them on the Divinity of Jesus, and 
they were completely confounded. Early sections of this surah have frequent 
allusions to the fatuity of the Christian doctrine. 

207. See P. 1. n. 28. 

208. Note that the Qur'an does not say that Allah is the greatest among 

204 Part III 

gods, the chief god. It affirms that bo other gods exist at all. The gods so-called 
are nothings, non-entities, figments of imagination. See also n k 19 above. 

209. j; e. 9 the Deathless; the Ever-living. See n. 20 above. 

210. i. e. 9 One who is Self-subsisting and by whom all things subsist. See 
n. 21 above. 

211. (•; as distinguished from Jkj| is not mere 'sent down/ but sent 
down text after text by means of exact verbal revelation ; and this literal inspiration 
is a distinguishing feature of the Qur^an. 

212. (and propriety, O Prophet!) i. *., with perfect arguments and clear 
proofs; and at proper time, and at proper place. The primary significance of -j^. 
is 'Suitableness to the requirements of wisdom, justice, right, or Tightness, truth, 
reality, or fact, or to the exigencies of the case/ (LL.) 

213. (of God's revelations). 

214. Which is certainly not identical with the OT, or even with the 
Pentateuch, but is synonymous with Torah, of which only fragments can at best be 
found in the extant Pentateuch. What the Qur'an commends as a Holy Writ is 
certainly not the same book of which it is freely and openly stated that it is 'the 
work' not of God but of 'of godly men. '' See P. I. nn. -323, 340, 

215. Which is not at all identical with the NT or even the Four Gospels of 
the Christian Church. 'Injll/ according to the teachings of Islam, was a Book 
sent down on Jesus (on whom be peace !), not a collection of reports and stories 
about him compiled at dubious dates by unknown persons , — 'an undesigned and 
unforeseen product of the apostolic age/ (EBr. III. p. 513) The NT, according to 
the Christian belief, far from being the Revealed Word of God, 'was or is no "book" 
at all, properly speaking, but a collection of writings, a great many of which were 
at the outset not destined for publication and multiplication .... Sentences may 
have been abbreviated or expressions changed. It is similar with the Gospels. 
When the first collection of sayings of Jesus or the first narrative of His deeds was 
set down in writing, the next who copied it might feel inclined to enlarge it or to 
change any detail according to the form in which he had heard it, without any bad 

intention It is not possible here to count up all the ways in which errors 

may originate/ (DB. IV. pp. 732, 735). In the words of Bishop Gore, 'it was a 
calamity that verbal infallibility was ever claimed for them (the Gospel Documents). 
(Renan, Life of Jesus, Intro, p. XII) 

216. (addressed by the said Books). 

217. # jUui * s 'anything that makes a separation, or distinction, between truth 

and falsity. Hence , Ukijl signifies the Kuran And proof, evidence or 

demonstration/ (LL) Here it may mean : 

(i) either the Qur'an, since it distinguishes between true and false, 
(it) or the Divine Scriptures in general, 
(Hi) or miracles, with which every prophet is gifted. 

///. SUrat-ul-'Imran 205 

218. *\*., in the clear proofs, and evidences of His unity. 

219. i.e., able to requite ; One whom none can prevent from punishing, un- 
like a mere mortal, who could not save himself from being arrested and, to all 
appearance, crucified. 

220. i.e., Inflicter of retribution on the guilty. Ends of righteousness and 
equity demand that God must be Just even before being Generous. This attribute 
of His, like other Divine attributes, will appear in its fulness on the Day of Requital. 
The fact of His being Merciful, surely does not mean that He is incapable of strong 
likes and dislikes. He is, above all, a Person, and not an inert First Cause. In Him 
uprightness is not a passive feeling ; it is a character. He must as surely punish the 
wicked as reward the righteous. His loving-kindness, infinite no doubt, is not to be 
had at the expense of His justice. 

221. i.e., His knowledge is all-comprehensive ; nothing, not the smallest 
detail of anything can escape it. This not only contradicts the heathen notion that 
even God's knowledge is imperfect or partial, but also negatives the foolish idea of 
some ancient philosophers who held that God knew only the universals, and not 
the particulars, since a knowledge of the things which change, implied a change 
in God's knowledge. He knows everything, great or small, universal or particular. 

222. (How could Jesus then with his limited human knowledge be even con- 
ceived of as God?) 'Earth' and 'heaven' are only mentioned because the senses cannot 
go beyond them. 

223> (and not any other god or godling). In the Hindu mythology there is 
a special deity named Tvasktri the fashioner, 'whose special office it is to form the 
foetus in the womb.' (Barth, Religious of India, p. 21) 

224. (O mankind !) 

225. (Of your mothers). 

226. (Whether with or without the father's seed). Just as His knowledge 
is all-comprehensive, His power of creation and formation too is absolute, un- 
limited, and all-comprehensive. 

227. (and His four chief attributes of Life, Sustenance, Knowledge and 
Power, all absolute, perfect and unrestricted have already been affirmed. 

228. i.e., Able to inflict retribution on the guilty any moment. 

229. (and so He defers retribution to its most proper time). 


206 Part III 

o SjUj)\UitH aulVf^y to -<u>( jAx>b ^y, wwK=» *f^u* i&\&j&\pw&j% j . 

7. (i^bJM ... dJllya) He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book 23 * 
in which some verses are firmly constructed 231 — they are the essence of the 
Book 232 ; and others consimilar 233 -But those in whose hearts is a deviation 234 
follow only what is consimilar therein 235 , seeking dissension- 36 and seeking to 
misinterpret 231 the same whereas none knows their interpretation 238 save Allah 239 . 
And the firmly-grounded in knowledge 240 say, 'we believe in it 241 , it is allfrom our 
Lord 242 ;' and none receives admonition save men of understanding 243 . 

.8 (LjUJI . . . Uo) ' 0ur Lord! suffer notour hearts to deviate 244 after 
that Thou hast guided us 246 , and bestow on us from Thy presence mercy 246 . 
Surely it is Thou Who art the Bestower 247 ! 

9. taU^J! . . . U^)) Our Lord! Surely Thou art the assembler of man- 
kind on a Day of which there is no doubt. Surely Allah does not fail His 

promise 248 . ♦ ' 


10. (jUJl . . . .jiJl^l) Surely those who disbelieve, neither their riches 
nor their offspring will avail them aught against Allah 249 , and it is they who shall 
become the fuel of the Fire. 

11> (vAjujI . , . L^fiXj) Like 250 Fir'awn's 261 folk and those before them 252 . 
They belied Our signs, 'so Allah seized them for their sins 253 . And Allah is 
Terrible in chastising. 

230. (O prophet!) 

231. i.e., unambiguous, free from all obscurity, and admitting of one 

232. J is c The source, origin, foundation, or basis, of a thing, its stay, 
support, or efficient cause of subsistence. Anything to which other things that are 

next thereto are collected together, or adjoined the main, or chief, part of 

a thing; the main body thereof (LL). Here it signifies the fundamental part of 
the Book, its essence, comprising its principal tenets and central doctrines in conso- 
nance with which other passages, less clear and less definite, are to be interpreted 

///. Surat-u/-'/mran 207 

and understood. And the principle enunciated here holds good of every other 
Scripture. All indistinct figurative, and ambiguous passages occurring in the 
Taurat and Injil are to be understood in the light of, and in accordance with, those 
others that are clear, definite and unequivocal. : j 

233. i.e., open to various interpretations; those verses whose drift is not v 
clear, owing either to their being too general or to their seeming opposition to 
some clear text. 

234. ij: means a doubting, and a declining, or deviating, from the truth. 
ij-j| deviation from the truth, or the right way of belief or conduct/ (IX) 

235. (and adhere to a false interpretation thereof in complete disregard oT 
what is positive, clear and definite in the fundamental texts). 

236. (and mischief thereby), i.e., seeking to draw men away from the 
religion of God by suggesting doubts and difficulties, and making the equivocal texts 
contradict the unequivocal. 

237. i.e.> seeking to explain it to mean what they want; seeking the text to 
fit in with their own notions, their whims and personal desires. 

238. i.e., true import and full significance of the ambiguous texts. 

239. (and He can give that -true interpretation either in the Qur'an itself, 
or through the sunnah of His prophet). Hence the importance of the sunnah as, 
next to the Qur'an, the source of Islamic law. 

240. i.e., the well-versed and steadfast in Divine truth. 

241. i.e., in the Qur'an. 

242. (and so there can be no discrepancy or contradiction in His wqrlf;). 
With this belief those well-grounded in the knowledge refer all such passages tb the 
principle laid down above, and interpret them accordingly. 

243. i.e., those who exercise their commonsense. Reason also commends 
this course of interpreting the equivocal in the light of the unequivocal. 

244. (from the right course, as has happened in the case of the 'people of 
the Book' formerly). Thus cry the 'firmly-grounded in knowledge' in true humility 
and with befitting piety. 

245. (to the right path of interpretation). 

246. i.e.- f keep us rightly guided to the very end; help us towards abiding 
in the truth, unlike the Jews and Christians who are addicted to misinterpreting their 

247. (of all gifts and favours). It shall be remembered that whatever good 
comes to men. from God it comes as a mere favour, and not as a matter of right 
on our part. 

248. His very Divinity negatives such a supposition. Note the change, to 
magnify and intensify what is promised, from the second person to the third. 

249. (as has been the false belief of certain heathen peoples). 

256C i.e.,. like the case of. Connected with the last words of the preceding 
verse the phrase means : 'it shall not avail them, as it did not avail in the 
case of — ' 

351. (the persecutor of Moses). All his efforts to avert the doom not only 
failed signally but directly led to his destruction. 

252. i.e., ungodly nations of antiquity. 

253. (and extirpated them). 

208 Part III 

12. (*>t. € Jl • • • U) Say thou to them who disbelieve 254 , 'soon 256 shall 
you be overcome 256 , and gathered unto Hell- an evil couch'. 

1 3. (yUouSA . .. . *l) Indeed there has been for you a sign 257 in the two 
hosts 258 that met 259 , one host fighting in the way of Allah, and the other dis- 
believing, beholding themselves 26 ^ with their own eyes* 61 , twice as .many as 
they 462 . And Allah aids with His succour whom He will. Surely in this 263 is a 
lesson 264 for the men of insight 265 . 

14. (U-*JJ ... . ^5) Fair-seeming to mankind 266 is made the love of 
pleasurable things 267 from women and offspring and treasures hoarded 268 of gold 
and silver and horses branded and cattle and tilth 269 . All that is the enjoyment 270 
of the life of this world 271 , and with Allah" is the best resort 272 . 

254. (and are unceasing in their hostility to Islam, O Prophet). 

255. ue.> in this very world ; your chastisement is near at hand, and you 
shall have not to wait long. 

256. (by the little band of the Muslims whom in your vanity you utterly 
despise). The threat is probably addressed to the pagans of Makka who received 
a crushing defeat at the battle of Badr ; or it may refer to the Jews of Madina, 
who openly boasted of their financial resourcefulness and military skill, but were 
soon to be exterminated. In either case the fulfilment of the prophecy, so bold and 
definite and yet so opposed to the apparent realities at the time, was in itself a 
singular vindication of the holy Prophet's claims. 

257. (demonstrating the power of Almighty and the truth of His Prophet's 

258. i. e., the Muslims and the Makkan pagans. 

259. (each other at Badr in the second year of the Hij rah era). 'There were 
950 men of the Meccans ; more than threefold the number of the Muslim force. 
They were mounted on 700 camels and 100 horses, the horsemen all clad in mail'. 
(Muir op cit. p. 221).. The Battle of Badr was indeed a critical point in the career 

Surat-ul 'Imran 209 

of Mohammad ...... Not only was a most decisive victory gained over a force 

three times his own in number but the slain on the enemy V side included in a 
remarkable manner many of his most influential opponents. In addition to the chief 
men killed or made prisoner, Abu Lahab, who was not present in the battle, died 
a few days after the return of the fugitive army— as if the decree marking out the 
enemies of the Prophet was inevitable/ (ib. pp. 235, 236) Admissions like these by 
a writer whose bias against Islam is so palpable, are an eloquent commentary on the 
battle of Badr being a 'sign' or a 'token'. 

260. (as they actually were). 

261. (and not fancying or imagining). 

262. i.e., the Muslims. The pagans found themselves, with clear face-to- 
face* vision -several times the number of the Muslims, and. yet were completely 

263. i.e., in this crushing defeat of the powerful confederacy of the Makkan 
state at the hands of ill-fed, ill-clad and ill-equipped Muslims. 

264. (by which one could take warning or example). 

265. i.e., for those who make use of their insight. 
266.. (for the purpose of their trial). 

267. Or 'desires' . . . '; . . g^ is 'Desire, or longing, or yearning of the soul 
for a thing ; . ... . . sometimes it is applied to the object of desire or thing desireoV.' 

(LL) It is agreeably with the latter usage that the word is used in the plural. 

268. Or 'hoards or hoarded/ tybd*^ yxbl*2 is, 'Much riches collected 
together/ (LL). 

269. Ail these are mentioned as instances of the objects of pleasure or 

270. z.{x* has two entirely different meanings. In one sense, it is provision, 
goods or chatties; in another sense, it is enjoyment. It is in thelatter sense that 
it is used here. v 

271. (which is itself perishable)..* So all these ephemeral pleasures are but 
empty forms before the lasting bliss of the Hereafter. 

272. i.e., with Him are the real and imperishable pleasures. 

210 Part III 

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15. (jU«JU • . . J-*) Say thou 273 , 'shall I declare to you "what is fat 
better than these 274 ? For those who fear A Hah are gardens with their Lord 275 , 
beneath which rivers flow where they shall abide, and spouses clean 276 , and 
goodwill of Allah' 277 . And Allah is Beholder of His servants 278 — 

16. (y.iMi^!^-. . ^dJl) ' wh ° 279 say/ 280 , 'Our Lord! surely we have be- 
lieved, so forgive us our sins, and keep us from the torment of the Fire,— 

17. (jtxuJt/. . . ^jyJ^Jl) The steadfast ones and the truthful ones and 
the devout ones and the spenders in charity 261 , and the praying ones at early 
dawns 282 for forgiveness. 

18. (^XisJi . . . *jy '£*<&) Allah bears witness 288 —and also the angels 284 
and those endowed with knowledge 285 — that there is no God but He, the 
Maintainer of equity 286 ; there is no God but He 287 , the Mighty 288 , the Wise 289 . 

19. (yt.wgnrV- , , ^ttJ) Surely the true faith with Allah 290 is Islam 281 , 
and those who were given the Book disputed not 292 among themselves save 
after the knowledge had come to them 293 , out of spite among themselves 294 . And 
he who disbelieves in the revelations of Allah, then surely Allah is Swift in 

273. (O Prophet!). 

274. i.e., infinitely better in quality, quantity and duration than the 
ephemeral pleasures of the world. 

275. ' And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to gene- 
ration/ (Lk. 1 : 50) 'Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh uda 

spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God/ (2. Co. 7:1)' and that 

thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and 
them that fear thy name, small and great/ (Re. 11 : 18). 

276. (from all pollutions). See P. I., n. 108. 

277. (which is the most supreme bliss conceivable). 

278. (and H^e shall recompense each accordingly). 

Sfurar-ul 'Imran 211 

279. Case in apposition with ' those who fear Allah 9 in the preceding verse. 

280. (as befits men of true piety). 

281. (in God's cause), i.e., almsgivers. 

282. 'Early dawns' are particularized as prayer at those hours is rather irk- 
some, although the mind is refreshed and spiritual faculties are purer. 

283. (in the old Scriptures as well as through the ever- fresh cosmic order). 
He proves His unity, first, by establishing the evidence in nature, which indicate it ; 
secondly, by revealing the holy texts which declare it. 

284. (who far from being gods or demi-gods are the first and foremost con- 
fessors of His unity). 

285. i.*.., men of true religious insight. 

286. (in His creation), i.e. absolutely just in His distribution of gifts and 
His judgements. 

287. Note the frequency with which this formula of Divine unity is repeated 
in this chapter, presumably to emphasise the doctrine of monotheism in the face of 
Christian Trinity and tri- theism. 

288. i.e., of transcending power. 
289.. i.e., of transcending wisdom. 

290. i.e., acceptable to Him ; true in His sight. 'The only true religion in 
God's sight is el-Islam/ (WGAL. II. p. 264) . 

291. (and Islam alone). Islam is the technical name of the creed preached 
by the holy Prophet. It has been the religion of all prophets in all climes, other 
religions (so-called) being only so many deviations from it. No religion is acceptable 
with God save Islam, which consists in acknowledging the Unity and Soleness of God 
arid embracing the Code which Muhammad (peace be on him !) brought. Literally, 
and in practice, it is 'self-surrender.' 'Submission, absolute surrender to the divine 
will was a fit designation of the faith revealed to Abraham Ishmael, and the Arabs/ 
(Torrey, Jewish Foundation of Islam/, p. 104) . Islam, the name applied by Muhammad 
himself to his religion, means the religion of resignation, submission to the will, the 
service, the commands of God'. (Klein, The Religion of Islam, p. 1). 

292* (with the Muslims and among themselves). Some accepted the Qur'an, 
others rejected it altogether, and yet others said that it was meant for the Arabs 
only. . - 

293. (of truth), i.e., arguments and evidences supporting it. 

294. (and out of desire for supremacy over the Muslim Arabs). It was a 
matter of deep envy to the Israeli ties — or of injured national pride, as they thought, — 
that the great and highly honoured gift of prophethood should now be transferred 
from them to the race of Ismail (on him be peace !) 

212 Part M 

Wu Ujd-*V U&J' u£*>S'&'#*l wh^' Qj&*!> f»* <SnSi Ms*** e&u v 


20. (^xJIj . . JLS) So 295 if they contend with thee 296 , say thou, 'I 
have surrendered myself to Allah 297 and also he who follows me 298 . And say 
thou to those who have been given the Book and to the illiterates 299 / 'accept 
Islam 300 . Then if they accept Islam/ they are indeed guided 301 ; but if they turn 
away theji upon thee is only the preaching 302 , and Allah is Beholder of His 
servants 303 . 


2^1- L±)\ ... ♦j^Jl.j) Surely those who disbelieve in the revelations of 
Allah and put to death the prophets without right 304 and kill those among 
mankind who enjoin equity 305 — announce thou to them a torment afflictive 3015 . 

22. Y . Jv *aj . . . lJjUJ) These are they whose works have come to 
naught in this world and the Hereafter, nor shall they have helpers 307 . 

23. ( ,yj>yji+.\ . , j|) Hast thou 308 not observed those given a portion of 
the Book 309 called to the Book 310 of Allah, that it may judge between them 311 ? 
Then 312 a party of them turns away, unheeding 313 . 

24. ( *y£kj . LiJli) This is because 314 they say, 'the Fire shall not 
touch *us save for a few days numbered 315 . And what they have been fabricating 316 
has deluded them in their religion. 

29.5. i.e., after every evidence has been established for the truth of Islam. 

296. (regarding the truth of Islam, O Prophet !) 

297. i.e., I have given over my whole soul and all my person to God. On 
its subjective side this is -the essence of Islam — absolute surrender to the will of God. 
^. literally is ' face or countenance x ]j .^. o*JU I resigned, or resign/myself to 
God, i.e., I became, or become, a Muslim. #± here is used for the whole because 
it is the most noble part/ (LL). 

298. (does the same), i.e., they have all become Muslims heart and soul. 

299. (of Makka), i.e., the pagans who have no knowledge of the Scriptures. 
^| properly means, a gentile, as distinguished from an Israelite. 'Whence in a 

Ill Surat-uf 'fmran 213 

secondary, or tropical sense, a heathen; one not having a revealed scripture, so 
applied by those having a revealed scripture; and particularly an Arab, or in the 
proper language of the Arabs of or belonging to, or relating to, the nation (&•!) 
of the Arabs, who did not write nor read ; and therefore metaphorically applied to 
any one not knowing the art of writing nor that of reading/ (LL) 

300. jLtfj&JS] ±J)\ or the interrogative alif sometimes denotes command, as 
in this instance. So ^xJU L is equivalent to &JUI enter ye into the religion of 
Islam: (LL). 'This simple creed demands no great trial of faith, arouses as a rule 
no particular intellectual difficulties and is within the compass of the meanest in- 
telligence . . . The first half of it enunciates a doctrine that is almost universally 
accepted by man as a necessary postulate, while the second half is based on a theory 
of man's relationship to God that is almost equally widespread, viz., that at intervals 
in the world's history God grants some revelation of Himself to men through the 
mouthpiece of inspired prophets/ (Arnold, Preaching of Islam, p. 413) 

301. i. e., they have surely found guidance. "If this be Islam/' asks Goethe, 
"do we not all live in Islam ?" "Yes," answers Carlyle, "all of us that have any 
moral life, we all live so." ( l am often asked when and why I became a Moslem . . . 
It seems that I have always been a Moslem. This is not so strange when one re- 
members that Islam is the natural religion that a child left to itself would 
develop. Indeed, as a Western critic once described it, Islam is the religion 
of commonsense.' (Lady Cobbold, Pilgrimage to Mecca, p. XIII). 

302. (of the Divine message, O Prophet !) The apostle has only to deliver 
the Message and to preach it, but has nothing to do with its results. 

303. (and He shall recompense each accordingly). A promise to the faithful, 
and a threat to the infideh. 

304. For the consistently rebellious attitude of the Jews towards the prophets 
of their own race, see P. I. nn. 267, 269, 270, 271. 

305. 'They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that 
speaketh uprightly.' (Am. 5 : 10) 

306. c The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to 
cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation. Their 
sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken/ (Ps. 37 : 
14, 15). 

307. (able to avert or even commute their punishment). 

308. (O Prophet !) 

309. (sufficient for the purpose of guidance). The reference is to the Jews 
and the 'Book' stands for God's Revealed Books in general. 

310. i.e., Taurat. 

•311. (concerning their religious differences and disputes). 

214 Part III 

312. A here implies distance not in time but in thought, since it was not to 
be expected that they would turn awayjfrom their own Book (Bdh). An expression 
of surprise at their behaviour. 

313. (by old confirmed habit and refuse to accept the judgment of their own 
Book). Cf. the OT : 'And my people are bent to back-sliding from me : though they 
called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him. (HO. 11 : 7). 'But 
where are thy gods that thou hast made thee? let them arise, if they can save thee 
in the time of thy trouble : for according to the number of thy cities are thy gods, O 
Judah ! Wherefore will ye plead with me ? ye all have transgressed against me, 
saith the Lord. In vain have I smitten your children ; they received no correction; 
your owns word hath devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion/ (Je. 2 : 28-30) 

314. t.^., their habitual backsliding persists because— . 

315. 'We can see alike from the Gospels and from St. Paul how constantly 
the Jews had upon their lips, We have Abraham to our Father/ (DB. II. p. 606). 
See P. I. nn. 343,344. 

316. i.e., doctrines falsely attributed to God, such as the fiction that the 
Fire would not touch them save for certain days or that their fathers, the prophets, 
would intercede for them,- or that God had promised Jacob that He would not punish 
his children except so far as the fulfilment of His oath required. 

III. Surat-ul-'lmran 215 

25: ( ...jtia'j «'. . L^/A Ho\n will it be then 317 when He gather them on 
the Day about which there is no doubt and every soul shall be repaid what it has 
earned 318 ; and they shall not be wronged 319 . 

26 « Xn&> - * * J- 5 )) Say thou 820 , '0 Allah, Sovereign of the dominion! 
Thou givest dominion to whom Thou wilt, 321 and Thou takest away dominion from 
whom Thou wilt 322 . Thou exaltest whom Thou wilt 323 , and Thou abasest whom 
Thou wilt 324 . And in Thy hand is the good 326 ; and surely Thou art Potent over 
everything 326 

27. L^',,, j^;) Thou plungest night into day and Thou plungest 
day into night 327 ; and Thou bringest forth the living from the lifeless 328 , and Thou 
bringest forth the lifeless from the living 329 ; and Thou providest for whom Thou 
wilt without stint 330 . 

28. (jjuajl . . 1') Let not the believers take to themselves the infidels as 
friends beside the believers 331 , and he who does that, does not in aught belong 
to Allah 332 , unless you 333 indeed fear from them a danger 334 . And Allah warms 
you of Himself 335 and to Allah is the last return 336 . 

317. (with them). The words indicate the magnitude of the evil which shall 
encompass them. 

318. (either of good or of evil). . 

319. i.e., nobody's virtues shall be undervalued, nor shall anybody's mis- 
deeds be over-estimated. 

320. (O Prophet!) 

321. Contrast with this the Hindu idea that the king c is a great deity in 
human form :' (ERE. VII. p. 720) and that among 'eight sacred object's which must 
be reverenced, worshipped, and circumambulated sun-wise the eighth is a King.-* (ib) 
In Islam, a king is a king, a mere man, not a godling. This strikes at the root of 
'the Divine right of the king' and all forms of king-worship and emperor-worship — 
Pharaoh-worship of the Egyptians and Mikado-worsphip of the Japanese. 

21 6 Part ll1 

322. Contrast With this simples Godlike teaching of Islam the amazing 
theories and grotesque practices of Christian Europe. 'The principle that kingship 
is "descendible in one sacred family" . . . / . . . is not only still that of the British 
constitution, as that of all monarchical states, but is practically that of kingship from 
the beginning .... The crowning and anointing of the emperors, borrowed from 

Byzantium and traceable to the influence of the Old Testament, was imitated by 
lesser potentates; and this 'sacring* by ecclesiastical authority gave to the king a 
character of special sanctity ...... In England it is not without- significance that 

sacerdotal vestments ... .continued to be among the insignia of the sovereign. 

Moreover, this sacrosanct character he aquired, not by virtue of his "sacring" but 
by hereditary right ; the coronation, anointing and vesting were but the outward and 
visible symbol of a divine grace adherent to the sovereign by virtue of his title. 
(JBBr., XV. p. 3010). And the half successful attempt for deification of himself by 
the pagan Julius Caesar in perhaps too well-known to be recapitulated. See EBr. IV, 
p. 524. 

323; (and the prophetic office is the- highest honour that can possibly be 
conferred on any individual or nation). _ 

324. Withdrawal of prophetic office in the case of an individual being out of 
the question, in the context it can only refer to transference of that incomparable gift 
from Israel to another nation. 

325. (of every description). And it is good that is to be sought^ hence express 
mention of it, and not of evil which is equally in His hands. 

326. (it is no wonder then, that the children of Isma'il hitherto weak and 
down-trodden, are now being raised to honour and glory, and a noble soul among 
them is elevated to the highest pitch of spiritual glory). 

327. Both of which are created beings like all other things, and the notion 
of a , 'night-deity* and 'day-deity' is preposterous. 

228. i.e.> as a bird from an egg. 

329. i.e., as an egg from a bird. 

330. One who is so Mighty and so Good is also Able to alternate humilita- 
tion and glory, and to bestow sovereignty as well as withdraw it. 

331. i.e., neither to the exclusion of the Muslims, nor in addition to them. 
Friendship implies nearness of heart, and this sort of relationship with the infidels 
is absolutely forbidden to the Muslims. Such isolat ion from disintegrating forces is 
imperative as a prerequisite to the solidarity of the Islamic community. This, how- 
ever, does not preclude affability of manners and politeness of speach. 

232. 'i.e., he stands in no relationship to God worthy to be called friendship. 
Friendship with the enemies of God is a direct negation of friendship with God. 

333. (O Muslims !) 

334. (for yourselves). Real friendship in such circumstances is out of the 
question. Only an alliance is permitted in times of danger. 

335. *.*., of His Judgment. 

336. i.e., Him ultimately you will have to face ; so do not expose yourselves 
to His wrath by breaking His commands and befriending His enemies. 

III. StJrat-ul-'Imran 217 

r^iS ■..■■■■ - t6&2k 

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29. ( 7 j^5 . . . Jj) Say thou 837 : whether you hide what is in your hearts 
or publish it Allah knows it 338 ; and He knows what is in the heavens and in the, 
earth 339 ; and Allah is Potent over everything 340 . 

30. (^l^JU . . . *)j) The Day when each soul shall find presented 341 
whatever it has worked of good and whatever it has worked of evil, it would like 
that there were between it and that Day a wide space 342 . And Allah warns you 
of Himself 343 , Allah is Tender to His servants 344 . 


31; -''-"(^a>)'. * v u) Say. thou 345 ; 'if you 346 , are wont to love Allah 347 , then 
follow rrie 348 , and Allah shall love you 349 and forgive you your siris 350 ; and Allah 
is Forgiving, Merciful. 

^ 2 - { H^ • - • lP) Say tllou351 ' 'O be y A,,ah and the messenger 352 ; 
then if they turn away, surely Allah does not love the infidels 353 . 

3 3, (isJ**«W' • • • iJ) Surely did Allah choose Adam and Nuh 354 and the 
house of a lbr§h?m 355 and the house of 'Imrgn 356 , above all worlds 357 — 

34. \*£* . . . ^p) The seed of one another 358 ; and Allah is Heating 358 , 
Knowing 360 . 

337. (O Prophet!) 

338. *.*., unlike so many heathen gods, His knowledge is perfect, all- 
pervading, all-embracing ; He is not to be beguiled by any of your excuses. . 

339. (venture not, therefore* to offend Him, since there can be no offence 
which He does not know). 

340. (venttfce not, therefore, to offend Him, since there can be no offence 
which He is not able to punish). 

341. (along with itself ). N 

342. (of time). ±^\ is 'any space of time ; or space of time of unknown limit. 
(LL) Note that even those who have some good works to their credit shall long to have 

218 Part III 

wide space between them and that Day with its terrors. Far sadder and immensely 
more frightful would that Day be for those who are evil-doers out and out. 

343. Repeated for the sake of emphasis and to impress it on the memory. 

344. (and it is only out of that infinite tenderness, and with a regard for 
their own welfare, that He constantly reminds them, forbids them, and warns 

345. (OProphet!) 

.346. (O Jews and others !) 

347. (as you profess). 

348. (and perfect your life on my model). The great Prophet is the perfect 
man; so his life is to serve as a model in every little detail for all true believers. 

349. (which is the highest conceivable object of life). Cf. the NT: 'If ye 
love me, keep my commandments. And I shall pray the Father, and he shall give 
you another Comforter, that he inay abide with you forever/ (Jn. 14: IS, 16). 
This "another Comforter" (a Prophet like Jesus himself ) did come a few centuries 
later, "to abide for ever" as the Final Prophet, and those who pride themselves on 
being "Christians" chose to reject him ! 

350. i.e., He will be satisfied with you, and pass over your inadvertencies, 
and will bring you near to His glorious holiness. 

351: (OProphet! to the mankind). 

352. (commissioned by Him to teach mankind the ways of His worship) 
i.e., submit to His will through His Prophet; worship Him as preached by His 
apostle. Worship of God, and God alone, is of course the goal of a Muslim's life, 
but the way to attain that end can be known only by Revelation through His apostle, 
and not by mere human reason. 

353. (and they are the veritable infidels, and their lip-profession of the love 
of God is'moonshine). 

354. i.e., Noah of the Bible. 

355. (which family includes Ismail and «his progeny as well as Isaac and 
his sons). \ 

356. Two distinct personalities of this name, with an intervening period of 
several centuries between them, have been recognised by the Qur'an — —one the well- 
known father of the prophet Moses and Aaron (peace he on both !) ; the other, the 
less known father of Mary (peace be on her !) and the grandfather of the prophet 
John and Jesus (peace be on both!), known to Christian writers as Joachim or 
Iyokem. The identity of names has led to a curious confusion and to a 'comedy of 
errors' on the part of many a Christian 'scholar/ Either of the 'Imrans or both of 
them may be meant in this place. 

357. (to be His apostles and to possess certain moral and religious 

358. The whole phrase is permutative of the word 'house' occurring twice. 
Noah was descendant of Adam; Abraham a descendant of both; the two 'Imrans 
descendants of all the three. 

359. i.e., Hearer of men's words. 

360. i.e., Knower of men's motives. So He chooses those whose words and 
motives jure right. 

/// . S0rat-ul-'lmr3n 219 

,*>**}> ^ __ , i ■ . ,: ■ n^ffi 

35. Lu*Jl . . . i!) Re-call when the wife of Imran 361 said, 'my Lord! 
surely I have vowed to Thee what is in my belly to be dedicated 362 ; accept 
Thou this of me. Surely Thou! only Thou: art the Hearer 363 , the Knower 364 . 

36. (&*$ . . . Hi) Then when she bore heir&65 ' she * aic|366 ' ' m Y Lord ! 
surely I bore aVemale 367 — And Allah knew best what she had born 368 ,— and the 
male is not as the female 369 , and surely I have named her iVIaryam 370 , and I com- 
mit her and her progeny to Thee 371 for protection from Satan the accursed' 372 ! 

37. (ljLa. . . . l*Jt*SXi) Then her Lord acce P ted her373 with Qoodly 
acceptance 374 , and made her grow up with a goodly growth, 376 and He made 
Zakariyya 376 take care of her 377 . Whenever Zakariyya entered. the apartment 378 to 
see hen he found provision by h£r 379 . He said, <0 Maryam! whence 380 hast thou 
this'? She said, this is from before Allah 381 . Surely Allah provides for whom 
He will without stint 382 

38- ('U>jV • . cJJtJu) Immediately 383 did Zakariyya 384 pray to His Lord, 
'my Lord! bestow on me from Thy presence 386 a goodly offspring, surely Thou! 
only Thou art the Hearer of prayer/ 

361. i.e., Mary's mother, Jesus' grandmother, known as Hannah or Anne. 
'It has been generally imagined by Christian writers that the Koran here confounds 
Mary the mother, of Jesus with Mary or Mariam, the sister of Moses and Aaron. . . . 
Yet I do not see how it can be made out from the words of the Koran/ (Sale) 
Muslim historians have traced the genealogies of both. The Christians admit that 
in their own records and genealogies nothing of any historical value is recorded of 
parentage of Mary. (EBr. XVII. p. 811). 

362. (to Thy sole service). )y ^ is, 'He set apart a child for the worship of 
God and the service of the mosque or oratory: or he devoted him to the service of 
the church as long as he should live/ And ))SS ^ means, C A child devoted by the 
parent to the service pf a church/ (LL) The phrase thus means : «I will not occupy 
him with anything else ; he shall be freed from all worldly occupations and wholly 
devoted to the service of thy Sanctuary/ The Protestant Christian Version, based on 

220 Part III 


'legends/ is: c ......— An ajngel comforted her by the news that Joachim was returning, 

and that who would bear him a child, whom she at once vowed to dedicate to the 
service of the temple/ (DB. II. p. 258) The Catholic Church holds, on the 
authority of the apocryphal literature :— c Anne and Joachim had reached old age 
and still remained childless; their prayers were answered, Ian angel ^of the Lord 
announcing to Anne that the fruit of her womb would be blessed by all the world/ 
(CD. p. 48) And according to the tradition of the Coptic Church :— e And Hannah 
said. "My Lord and my God ! If it is be that Thou hast given me a son I will give! 
him to God, and I will dedicate him to the service of the sanctuary all the days of 
his life/' (Budge. Legends of Our Lady Mary, p. 124). * 

363. (of my prayer)* 

364. (of the sincerity of my motives) 

365. i.e., a daughter, Mary (of blessed memory). 

366. (in her great disappointment). 

• 367. and not a son as I had desired and expected) . The birth of a daughter 

naturally seemed to Hannah to be a disappointment, since a girl could not be very 
suitable for the service of the sanctuary. 

36i8~ A parenthetical proposition directly from God, intended to glorify the 
child and to show that the mother knew nothing of its worth. 

369. i.e., in this particular instance. No mal^ child (such as Hannah 
desired) could be like this female child in worth (Th) . The principle, though 
enunciated only incidentally, is also of general application.; arid emphasises the 
fundamental biological differences between the sexes. * From the moment of fertili- 
sation onwards, man and woman differ in every cell of their body in regard to the 
number of their chromosomes— these bodies which, for all the world's unfamiliarity, 
have been shown by the last decade's work to be the bearers of heredity, the deter- 
miners of our characters and qualities . . . The differences then are considerable ; so 
considerable that they can never permit of the simple equivalence of the sexes . . .... 

It is temperament which in the long run decrees'what we shall make of our intellects, 
and in temperament there is and will be« — not for centuries but for biological 
periods — a fundamental average difference between the sexes/ (Julian Huxley, 
Essays in Popular Science, pp. 64-65) See also P. II. nn. 511,, 514; P. V. 
nn. 58, 73. 

370. i.e., Mary of the Bible. 

371. i.e., I commit her and her descendants to Thy care and protection. 
Hannah intercedes with her Lord and begs that He Vill protect the child and let her 

372. p^y or 'accursed' is simply one lying under a curse, execrable, driven 
away from the Divine grace, and has, in this connection, nothing whatever to do 
with the 'pelting of stones* so inaptly alluded to by the Christian translators of 
the Qur'an. 

///. Sarat-ul-'/mrZn 221 

373. (arid was satified with her in place of the male for the fulfilment of the 


374. And when the maiden was three years old, Iyakem called his pure. 
Hebrew maid-servants ...... and brought her into the house of the sanctuary . . . . . . 

And the priests, and the elders, and all the children of Israel blessed her, and God 
made great joy to come upon her/ (Budge, op cit. p. 127). 

375. Note that it is the Qur'an, not the Bible, that makes mention in terms 
of high honour and glory, of Mary's birth and upbringing. /Godly growth" may 
either be of her body and physique, or of her righteousness and virtue, or of 

both. , 

376. i.e., Zechariah of the NT : commended as blameless before God. 
'There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named 
Zechariah, of the course of Abijah : and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and 
her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all 
the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless/' (LK. 1 : 5, 6). He was 
Mary's maternal uncle, i.e., husband of Hannah's sister. 

377. (and to act as her guardian after 'Imran or Iyakem, the grandfather of 
Mary, and the chief priest at the sanctuary, who was dead by now). 

378. i.e., the loneliest part of the sanctuary to which she had retired out of 
the way of the people. 

379. This naturally excited wonder in him, since none could enter her 
apartment except himself, and he used to lock doors upon her. 

380. i.e., from what direction or quarter. 

381. i.e., from God direct, so do not be surprised. 

382. (miraculously, without the intervention of any physical agency). 

383. i.e., at that time, or at that place, {& originally an adverb of place, 
is also used as an adverb of time. 

384. (moved at the sight of the miraculous supply of provision to Mary). 

385. (as Thou bestowedest on the old and barren Hannah). 


222 Pari III 

39. Y^fla'-t-aJl/i ^■•■*i*iUi) Then the angels 886 called him while he stood 
praying in the appartment, surely Allah announces to thee Yahya 887 ! con- 
firming the word from Allah 888 , a leader 888 , and chaste, 898 and a prophet, from 
among the righteous' 391 . ■ * -.- 

40, (^UjU ■• . . Jli) He said ' ' m Y Lord! how will there be 392 unto me a 
son while old age has overtaken me and my wife is barren 883 , Allah said, 'so It 
shall be 39 *, Allah does what He will 895 . 

41* (ys,, !JL . •■• JU) He said, 'my Lordl appoint to me a sign 396 . Allah 
said, thy sign is that thou shalt not speak to anyone 397 for three days 398 save 
by tokens 399 , and remember thy Lord much 400 , and hallow Him in the evening 401 
and morning 402 . 



42, (i^*-W • • • *! 5) Ahd re " ca,/ when the angels 403 said, '0 Maryam' 
surely Allah chose thee 404 and cleansed thee 406 and chose thee 406 above the 
women of the worlds. 

43. { { mS^\ . . ♦ |sw) ° Mar y am ! 'be devout unto thy Lord, prostrate 
thyself and bow down with those who bow down' 407 . 

386. i.e., some of the class of angels : like the expression, 'he rides horses/ 
i.e., certain of them. 

387. t.*., "a son so named. 'John the -Baptist' of the Bible. Cf. the NT: 
'But the angel said unto him. Fear not, Zechariah : for thy prayer is heard ; and 
thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And 
thou shalt have joy and gladness ; and many shall rejoice at his birth/ 
(Lk. 1: 13). 

388. 'A word from Allah* is the Prophet Jesus (peace he on him !), He is 
called 'a word* because he came into existence by His command, without the 
ordinary instrumentality of a father. (Bdh) 

389. (of men in matters religious and spiritual). 'Large crowds flocked to 
his teaching*. (EBr. XIII. p. 17). 'It is clear that very large numbers came to 

///. SOrat-of-'fmrMn 223 

him, and he was generally accepted as a prophet/ (DB. II. p. 679). 

390. i.e., continent : one who preserves his soul from all worldly pleasures 
and enjoyments, ^<> is 'Very fearful or cautious, who abstains, or refrains, from 
a thing through fear/ (LL) 'And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit/ 
(Lk. 1 : 80). John was a man of austere ascetic life, symbolising the severity of 
his attitude as a moral critic of his time; preaching to all classes the necessity of 
repentance/ (EBi. c. 2437) 

391. Note that the Qur'an distinctly affirms John's prophethood as well as 

392. i.e., in wkat particular way shall it come about? The expression is not 
of wonder, much less of incredulity, but merely a request for further enlightenment. 

393. 'For I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years/ (Lk. 1 : 18) 
'Their union was not blessed with offspring. It was due to Elisabeth's barrenness; 
and she keenly. felt the reproach which is occasioned, for it was a common opinion 
among the Jews that childlessness was God's punishment for guilt /(Has tings, Dictionary 
of Christ and the Gospels, II. p. 844) According to the Muslim computation, he was 
99 and his wife 98. 

394. i.e., it would happen to thee whilst thou art of this very age, without 
the restoration of youth. 

395. 'For with God nothing shall be impossible/ (Lk. 1 :36) 

396. (whereby I may know that my wife has conceived, and in order that I 
may prepare some special offering to Thee) . 

397. (but shalt remember and hallow God). Cf. the NT:—' And, behold, 
thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be 
performed . . . And when he came out, he could not speak unto them/ (Lk. 1 :20-22) 

398. (and three nights). 

499. (with the hands or the head). 'For he beckoned unto them, and re- 
mained speechless/ (Lk, 1 : 22) 'Silence, as an aid to worship or as a method 
of preparing the soul for spiritual experiences, has been practised among large or 
smaller groups in almost all periods of religious history and in almost all parts of the 
world The OT contains many references to the value of silence as a pre- 
paration for spiritual vision or revelation The voice in the stillness was felt 

to be a clearer revelation of God than earthquake, fire, or storm/ (ERE. XI. 
p. 512). 

400. i.e., both in thy heart and by word of mouth during the period. 

40 1. i.e., from the afternoon until sunset. 

402. i. e., from dawn until midday. 

403. See n. 386 above. 

404. (in the childhood, inasmuch as no other female had been accepted 
before her for Divine service in the sanctuary). The 'choice' may also have reference 
to her being supplied with sustenance in a miraculous way. 

224 Part III 

405. (of sins and moral impurities). 

406. (once again, on thy attaining maturity, by certain privileges; such as 
conception without a male agency, and the like). Cf. the NT ,:— And the angel came 
in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee : 
blessed art thou among women/ (Lk. 1 : 28). 

407. With all her great gifts. Mary is a mere mortal, and has no part of 
Divinity in her whatsoever. She is, like all true and devmit servants of God, 
specially enjoined to pray, and the, canons of prayer are mentioned in detail in 
order to lay stress on their accurate observance. She is neither a gwldrss, nor a 
demi-goddess, nor yet a Mother-God ! 

III. Sural- u/-'lmrin 225 

rcfe-Qf ; .. r&fo&fc 


44. ( .^.^xii^. ...: UJ!i) This is of the tidings of the unseen which We 
reveal to thee 408 , and thou wa$t not with them 409 when they cast their reeds 410 as 
to which of them should have charge of Maryarn 411 nor wast thou with them 
when they disputed 412 . 

45. (■^■^|.;'/\ S JU-SI) Re-call when the angels 418 said, 'O Maryam! 
surly Allah announces to thee a word from Him 414 : his name 416 shall be the Masfh 416 
'Isa 417 son of Maryam 418 , illustrious in this world 419 and the Hereafter 420 , and one 
of those brought nigh 421 — 

46. ( ^saJUJt . . j<j ,) And he shall speak to mankind 422 in the cradle 423 
and maturity 424 and be one of the righteous 426 . 

47. ( .^i .. . i^Jtf) She said, 'my Lord! how will there be a son unto 
me while no man^has touched me 426 1 Allah said 427 , 'so It shall be™. Allah creates 
what He will 429 . When He decrees a thing, He only says to it, 'Be', and it be- 
comes 430 . 

48. ( Ly)i| . . . <uJUj 5 ) And He shall teach him the- Book 431 and 

wisdom and the TawrSt and the Injil 432 . 

408. (O Prophet!) i.e., this is among those events of which the accurate 
records are now obliterated altogether, and there is no means of knowing it in full 
and exact details except by Revelation. 

409. i.e., the priests at the sanctuary. 

410. (in the river Jorden, as lots). 

411. (as his ward). Mary being the orphan-daughter of the chief priest 
Iyakem, the priests discussed and disputed as to who should have her in his charge. 
Zechariah (peace be on Him !) an elderly kinsman put forward his claim ; others 
demurred. Recourse was eventually had to the casting of Ipts. All of them threw 
their reed-pens with certain passages of the Torah written upon them in the Jordan. 
The reeds of all, except the reed of Zechariah, either sank down or drifted with the 
current ; his alone swam against it. Thus he had the charge of her. 

412. (among themselves on the point of the guardianship). The reminder is 

226 Part lit 

not superfluous. It is to emphasize that nobody could narrate these details with 
truth unless aided by Revelation. 

413. See no. 386 above. 

414. See n. 388 above. The announcement is of a son; who, being without a 
father, would be known as a word from Him. 

415. ^| in Arabic denotes surname as well as name. 

416. f.*,, Messiah of the Bible. Messiah, the surname of Jesus, is a title of 
honour, literally meaning 'the anointed/ Notice that the Qur'an fully concedes the 
Messiahship of Jesus ; it is only his Divinity, his Son-ship, his God-head that it is 
so unsparing in assailing. 

417. *.*„ Jesus of the NT. and Arabicized form of Ishu. 

418. Himself a mere mortal, Jesus was also the son of a frail, ordinary 
woman, and not the son of God. The epithet +j>y ^, calls attention to, and 
emphasizes, the fact of his humanity. It is one of the miracles of the Qur'an that 
in speaking of Jesus it refutes both the Jewish and the Christian misconceptions 
simultaneously and constantly uses a language that implies answers both to the 
Christian deification and to the Jewish denunciation. 

419* i.*., above the ridicule and vilification of his enemies, the Jews. ^^ 
literally is, 'worthy of regard/ The Qur'an affirms the honour and glory of Jesus 
(peace be on him i) chiefly in answer to the calumnies of the Jews who remember 
him 'as the man who had chiefly brought dissension to Israel/ and as one who 
'practised magic and deceived and led astray Israel,.' with 'coarse allusions to His 
birth/ (ERE. VII. p. 551). The few allusions to Him contained in the Talmud 
and the contemporary literature are, for the the most part, contemptuous references 
to one who deceived Israel, and who owed his birth to the unfaithfulness of his 
mother; (Hastings/o/*. cii. II. p. 877) even they before" long have learnt to speak of 
his person and character in terms of respect and appreciation. Witness recent books 
on Jesus by Jewish writers. 

420. (like all other prophets). 

421. (unto God). Notice the form of the words ^jaJ! ^y 'one of those 
brought nigh'; one of the many. Not even in this respect was Jesus unique or 
without parallel. 

422. (and discourse on serious subjects). 

423. •"!•#., while yet he shall be mere boy. There would be no sense in 
recording the fact if it meant nothing more than 'the ordinary experience of every 
child who is not dumb/ A truism like that could hardly merit mention in the Qur'an. 
Compare the GB : 'Jesus having come to the age of twelve years, went up with Mary 
and Joseph to Jerusalem . . . The third Day they found the child in the temple, in 
the midst of the doctors, disputing with them cencerning the law. And every one 
was amazed at his questions and answers, saying : How can there be such doctrine in 
him, seeing he is so small and hath not learned to read/ (p. 15). And also the NT: 

///. Surat-ul-'/mrin 227 

And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem . . . And it came to 
pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the 
doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were 
astonished at his understanding and answers/ (Lk. 2 : 42, 46, 47), 

424. Lj is "of mature age/ 5 of any age between 30 and 50, and not 
necessarily "old age/* The mention of the infancy of Jesus and then of his maturity 
emphasizes the obvious fact that he lived and grew like all human being*, there 
being no meaning in a God-man or man-God 'growing/ 

425. Note that Jesus (peace be on him !) in his great attributes is not spoken 
of singly but as one of a company of good souls. He is "o/the righteous," "of those 
nigh/' that is to say that he is one of the many chosen by God. 

426. (by way of intercourse). 'Then said Mary unto the angle, How shall 
this be, seeing I know not a man?' (Lk. 1 : 34) Mary is natutally amazed and 
puzzled at the announcement of the birth of a son when she was a virgin. The story 
is related in the GB. at greater length, (pp. 3 and 5). 

427. (through an angel). 

428. i.e., without the touch of a man; out of the ordinary course of 

429. His will alone is sufficient to bring anything into being. He can create 
anything out of His mere will. He is not bound in His creative activities by 
His usual methods — the so-called 'laws of nature*. 

430. (whether attended or not with the circumstance generally associated 
with it). This explains the nature of His 'willing/ Just as He creates things in 
stages and by intermediary causes, equally able is He to create them immediately, 
directly, and without intermediary causes. 

431. i.e., the revealed Books in general. 

432. All these topics are introduced, among other reasons, to ease the mind 
of Mary, and to banish fears of censure that must have troubled her when she knew 
that she would conceive without a husband. 

228 Part lit 

49, (^JL^ .'.".' lyw) 5 ) And a messenger 438 to the Children of Israel 4 * 4 
with this message, /surely I have come to you with a sign 435 from your Lord 436 . 
Surely I form for you 437 out of clay the likeness of a bird, and then I breath in it, 
and a bird 438 it becomes by Allah's leave 439 . And I heal the blind from birth 440 
and the leper 441 and revive the dead 442 by Allah's leave 343 . And I declare to you 
what you have eaten and what you have stored in your houses 444 . Surely in this 445 
is a sigh 446 for you if you be believers 447 . 

'50. (^yx^c] . . . Ui**y» 5 ) And I come confirming the TawrSt that was 
before me 448 , and to allow to you 449 some of what was forbidden to you 450 . And 
I have come to you with a sign from your Lord 451 ; so fear Allah and obey me 462 . 

51. (*^iuU . . . dJ! wji) Surely Allah is my Lord an.d your Lord, so 
worship Him 453 this is the straight path. 454 

52. /^^ . . . lUi) Then when 'Isa perceived infidelity 455 in them, 456 
he said, 'who will be my helper unto Allah ? 45? The disciples 458 said, 'we are 
helpers of Allah, 459 we believe in Allah, and bear thou witness 460 that surely we 
are Muslims. 461 

433. (of God) which is a very different thing on the one hand from God 
Himself, as misconceived by the Christians, and on the other from a criminal 
wonder-worker as misjudged by the Jews. 

434. (and not as a universal messenger). Witness his own words in the 
NT, plain and conclusive: 'Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city 
of the Samaritans enter ye not : but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of 
Israel/ (Mt. 10 : 5, 6) 'I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel/ 
(15:24). And modern Christian scholars have to acknowledge the reluctance of 
Jesus and his earliest disciples to treat his message as universal in ways as round 
about as their conscience would permit: — 'The earlier group of disciples, it is true, 
did not appreciate the universality of the teaching of Jesus. (EBr. V. p. 632)' . . . 
nor did He seek converts outside IsraeP (p. 631). 

435. i.e., a miracle; a credential of my prophethood, Cf the NT: We 

III. SUrat-tjf-'/mr2n 229 

know that thou art a teacher come from God : for no man can do these miracles that 
thoudoeth, execpt God be with him/ (Jn. 3 : 2). 'When Christ cometh, will he do 
more miracles than these which this man hath done/ (7: 31)^ A miracle is an 
extraordinary occurrence which cannot be produced by any natural agency but only 
by the direct will of God. It may be either above natural (ordinary law or contrary 
to it or else independent of it. Once the existence of an Almighty God is granted, 
there is no a priori difficulty in blieving that He can perform whatever He wills in any 
manner that pleases Him. The possibility of miracles can never be questioned by 
a theist. A miracle is only an exercise of free-will on the part of the Creator and 
Author of the life with all its laws— a mere fulfilment of His purpose in a way that 
is novel to the onlookers. 

436. (to generate conviction in you) . It does sometimes happen that popular 
mind is led to the acceptance of the Divine truths not by any rational arguments or 
moral and spiritual evidences but only by the miraculous manifestations of the Divine 
power at the hands of His approved servants. 

437. U_. as the act of God signifies 'the bringing into existence from a 
state of non-existence, ' but ordinarily it means : 'The act of measuring, or deter- 
mining the measure, proportion , or the like, of a thing ; and the making a thing by 
measure, or according to the measure of another thing* .-.':■ . . This is the primary 
meaning/ (LL) And the phrase means: 'I will form for you, or I will make 
according to its proper measure for you, and will form, of clay, a thing like fhe 
form of the bird ; or of birds' (ib). 

438. i.e., a real live bird. 'He also made figures of birds which could fly' 
(Budge, op, cit.^ p. XXIX). 

439. Note the emphasis on the fact that it is God, not he who makes the 
thing alive. 

440. Cf. Mt. 9: 27-30; Mk. 8 : 22-25 ; Jn. 9: 1-7. 

441. Cf Mt. 8: 3; Lk. 17 : 14. 'The healing ministry, judged by critical 
tests, stands on as firm historical ground as the best accredited parts of the 
teaching/ (EBi, C. 2445). 'Jesus wearied Himself with the healing of man's 
physical ailments, and He was remembered as the great physician. Early Christian 
literature is filled with medical terms, applied, it is true, for the greater part to the 
cure of souls/ (EBr. V, p. 634). 

442. Cf Mt. 9 : 18, 19, 23^25 ; Lk. 7 ; 12-15 ; Jn. 1 1 : 1 1-44. The Eyagelists 
report an extension of His power beyond cases of a physical or psychophysical 
nature, to include the curing of fever, paralysis, leprosy, blindliness, dead-mutism 
and even the rising of the dead as having characterized His ministry (EBr. XIII. 
pi 17). 'Jesus having come to the sepulchre, where every one was weepings said: 
''Weep not, for Lazarus sleepeth, and I am come to awake him/ ' . . . Said Martha, 
"Lord he stinketh, for he hath been dead four days/' ... Then Jesus lifted up. his 
hands to heaven, and said : "Lord God of Abraham, God of Ismael and Isaac, God 

230 Part III 

of our father, have mercy upon the affliction of these women, and give glory to thy 
holy name." And when every one had answered "Amen, " Jesus said with a loud 
voice*: "Lazarus, come forth*" Whereupon he that was dead arose/ (GB. 
pp. 431, 437*). 

443. See n. 439 above. 

444. This is only by way of illustration, meaning, 'I can tell you your most 
secret affairs/ * It was not as the teacher of the new religious principles nor as a 
new lawgiver, but as a wonder-worker that Jesus won fame and influence among the 
simple inhabitants of Galilee in his life-time/ (JE. VII. p. 167). 

445. i.e., in all these * wonders' and freaks of nature. Cf. a hostile witness 
Josephus, an eminent Jew, who lived in a generation only next to that of Jesus' : 
'Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, 
for he was a doer of wonderful works/ ("Ant", 18 : 3 :3) . So it was pre-eminently 
in the character of a 'wonder-worker' that Jesus was known to those around him. 

446. (of my prpphethood ; of my being aided by God). 

447. /.*., if you are disposed to believe at all. 

448. 'I am not come to destroy but to fulfil/ (Mt. 5 : 17, 18). 'And it is 
easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail/ (LK. 16:17) 
'Not only does Jesus Himself quote from the OT frequently but in his own language 
the modes of speech of the OT are recalled/ (DB. V. p. 332). 

•449. (by the command of God). 

450. (in the code of Moses). Annulment in part of the law of Moses (on 
him be peace !) is not at all incompatible with, confirmation of it in general Cf. the 
NT: 'Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. 
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart : and 
ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light/ 
(Mt. 11:28-30). 

451. t>., I have brought you sign after sign ; my claim is supported with 
powerful arguments and convincing miracles . See n. 435 ff. above. 

452. (in that to which I invite you). 

453. (only). This, the worship of One and Only God, is the true message 
of Jesus, the gist of his real teaching. Absolute Unity, and pure God-worship ; no 
'trinity/ no 'incarnation/ no 'son- worship', no 'mother-worship/ Cf. the NT: 
'Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only thou shalt serve/ (Mt. 4 : 10) 
And GB:-— 'I confess thee one God alone that hast not had beginning nor shalt 
ever have end; for by thy mercy gavest thou to all things their beginning, and by 
thy justice thou shalt give to all an end ; that hast no likeness among men, because 
in thine infinite goodness thou art not subject to motion nor to any accident. Have 
mercy on us, for thou hast created us, and we are the works of thy hand/ (p. 195) 
Also see P. VI. n. 526. 

454. 'There is no indication that He ever acted independently of God, or as 

///. Sdrat-ul-'lmftn 231 

an independent God. Rather does He acknowledge his dependence upon God, by 
His habit of prayer and in such words as "this kind goeth not forth save by prayer/' 
He even repudiated the ascription to himself of goodness in the absolute sense in 
which it belongs to God alone/ (EBi XIII. p. 24) . . . .". .. There is nothing in 
these three Gospels to suggest that their writers thought of Jesus as other than 
human, a human being specially endued with spirit of God and standing in an 
unbroken relation to God which justified His being spoken of as the "Son of God/' 
p. 18) 

455. (and also persecution) . 

456. *.«., on the part of the Jews. 

457. *.*., for the cause of God. 

458. i. e., the adherents of Jesus. yL^ is 'one who whitens cloths, or 
garments, by washing and beating them. Hence its plural .^»y!^ is applied to the 
companions, $. e., apostles and disciples of Jesus, because their trade was to do this* 

4;59. i. e. 9 helpers in the cause of God : in the cause of His religion. 

460. (O Prophet of God ! both in this world and on the Day of Judgment 
when the prophets shall testify for or against their peoples) 

461. Literally, 'we have surrendered ourselves/ 'The faith of the Musalman 
is concentrated in a single word Islam : devotion, resignation of our own will to the 
supreme decree. That word was not limited by Muhammad to his own followers : 
it was used ungrudgingly for his Judaic Christian predecessors. There is no fitter 
word for the religion of the human race/ (Dr. J. H. Bridges) 

232 'Pan HI 

53. ( # ^^aJ! . . . U>>) Our Lord ! we believe in what Thou hast sent 
down 462 and we follow the messenger: write us up therefore with the witnesses. 4 ^ 3 

54. ( vj^i! > ". ; [^ 5 ) And they 4 <* plotted, 4 ?* and Allah plotted 4 ** and 
Allah is the Best of plotters. 467 


55. (^^Jsdjj . •., . J\3 £\) Re-ca// when Allah said, 468 y ls& surely I 
shall make thee die 469 and am lifting* thee 470 to Me, 471 and am cleansing thee from 
those who disbelieve, 472 and shall place those who follow thee 473 above 474 those 
who deny 475 thee till the Day of Resurrection; 476 then to Me shall be the return 
of you c*//; 477 then I shall decide between you 478 concerning that in which you 
have been differing; 

56. {^Jty^xi v . . ^jiMUU) Then 479 as for those who disbelieved* I shall 
torment them 480 with a severe torment in this world 481 and the Hereafter, nor shall 
they have any helpers. . 

57. (^jcUk)! . . . Ul.) Anc * as for those who believed and worked righ- 
teous works He shall repay them their wages, in full and Allah loves not the 
ungodly. 482 

58. LxtcsJ] . . . UJte) This 483 We recite unto thee 484 of the signs 486 
and 486 of the wise admonition. 487 

462. (upon the apostle of our day) 

463. (to Thy unity and to the truth of Thy prophet) 

464. i. e., the disbelieving Jews ; the oppressors and persecutors of Jesus. 

465. (to put him to death ; to crucify him) 

466. (to save him; to frustrate his enemies^ plots) 

467. (to His plan succeeded, the Jews being unable to detect it even). 
Somebody else, who resembled Jesus to an extraordinary degree, was crucified in 
his place, and Jesus escaped death at their hands altogether. 

468. (to Jesus by way of consolation on the eve of his arrest and trial, when 
he was naturally a little perturbed) 

til SQrat-u/-'/rtiran 233 

469. (a natural death at thy appointed hour, so these persecutors are 
powerless to do thee any harm). The origin**! sense of j^^ is 'to perform a 
promise', <to fulfil a covenant and c to give full measure'. So the meaning^may 
also be, >I will fulfil thy span of life% or C I will achieve the whole of thy terrii^ 

470. (in tlie meantime bodily;. -'A similar conception was promulgated by 
the earliest gnostics, Corinthus, Basilides, Carpociates and others'. (Earnest 
De Busen, Islam, or True Christianity, p. 143. fn.) See P. VI. n, 38. 

471.; i. e., to theplaceof My glory; to -the Higher Region. 

472, (in thy prophethood) i. <?., clear thee from their false charges and 
unworthy accusations. 

473. i.e., those who believe in the truth of thy mission. 
474^ (in arms, or in arguments, or in both) 

475. (in thy prophethood) 

476. The meaning is: thy friends shall always prevail over thy foes by 
argument and by the sword. 

477. f. e., of Jesus, his followers and his detractors. 
* 478. (finally and in a practical, demonstrable way) 

479. This verse and the next explain the Divine Judgment alluded to in 
the verse 55; 

480. t. ■<.-, the slanderers of Jesus. 

481. The terrible plight of the Jews in Germany and elsewhere is only a 
matter of recent past. 

482. i. e. , the Jews and the Christians both, as both have transgressed the 
proper limits in the matter of Jesus— the former by slandering him, the latter by 
their deification of him. 

483. (true story of Jesus and of things connected therewith) 

484. (O Prophet!) 

485. (of the truth of thy mission) 

486. (in itself) * 

487. i. e., stories like these serve at once to substantiate thy mission, since 
nothing save Divine revelation can make them known to thee, and they are wise 
admonitions in themselves. 

234 Part HI 

mimimmmtmmmmmmmmimm ■ ii n'' ' ' * i i " i ,i i 11 " \ " T ' ' n n i f . _ 7 ? 1 1 ' ■ »r i ■ rt ' in 

59. (^^i ... J ) Surely the likeness of 'Isa 488 with Allah is as the 
likeness of Adam ; 488 him He created out of dust ; then He said to him, 'Be' 
and he became. 490 

60. (^jjuJl ." . . vssJt) This is the Truth from thy Lord, so be thou not 
of the doubters 491 

61. ( ^cjojcjI ^w.i) So those who contend 402 with thee therein 493 after 
what has come to thee of the knowledge 4 * 4 — say thou, 405 'come ! let us 496 call 
our children and your children 497 and our women and your women 498 and our- 
selves and yourselves, then let us humbly pray, 499 and invoke the curse of Allah 
'upon, the liars/ 500 

62. (*fcXsari •"• •!•>') ' Sure, V this 501 is the true recital ; and God there is 
none save Allah, 508 and surely Allah it is who is Mighty, 503 , Wise. 504 

63. (^fcWjuJb . . . ^li) But if they turn away, 505 Allah is the Knower of 
the corrupters. 508 ' 


64# '(isi**^*-* • • J 3 ) Say thou ' 507 'Q People of the Book ! come to a 
word common -to us 508 and you, 509 that we shall worship none save Allah, 510 and 
that we shall not join aught 511 with Him, and that none of us shall take others 512 
as Lords beside Allah ; 51S then if they turn away, 514 say 515 thou, 'bear witness that 
we are Muslims'. 516 

488. (in being without a father, and in being a mere man) 

489. (who was created without a father and a mother). This is the point 
of comparison and resemblance. Jesus' wonderful nature is like that of Adam. He 
is not 'consubstantial with God/ He is as much a created being as Adam. Divinity 
of Jesus has been denied by some ancient Christian sects themselves. 'Arius taught 
that the Son of God was a created being. There was a time when He did not 
exist/ (EBr. II. p. 598) Paul of Samosata also held that "Jesus Christ," begotten 
of the Holy Ghost and born of the virgin, was a mere man. But "the man" was 

///. SQrat-uh'Imran 235 

anointed by the Holy Ghost and for that reason was called Christ . . . . . . Though 

the Logos was in Christ, it did not invest him with divinity/ (EBR XI. p. 171) 

490. (similar is the nature of Jesus; where, then, is the occasion to ascribe 
Eternity or Divinity to him ?) * . 

491. (O reader !) Human documents may lie ; not so the divine Revelation. 
So there is no room here for arty doubt at all. 

492. (O Prophet!) 

493. i. e~, concerning Jesus. The reference is to the Christians. 

494. The knowledge that is absolutely true, certain and Revealed. 

495. (unto them, now that they have proved unamenable to reason and 

496. i. e., both of us ; each of the two parties. 

497. 'Sops,' in both instances, includes grandsons and sons-in-law. 

498. 'Women* in both instances, includestee daughters and wives. 

499. The passage was revealed on the occasion of a visit from some 
Christians of Najran to the holy Prophet in the 10th year of Hijrah. See n. 206 
above. They had full discussion with him on their 'Chris tology/ The Islamic 
doctrine about Jesus was explained and his Divinity refuted ; all to no purposes. 
Then the holy Prophet took the only course that was open for an intensely religious 
man in the circumstances to take. He invited them to come to a decision by 
earnestly invoking the curse of God on the party that still clung to falsehood, and 
came out himself with his beloved daughter, Fatima, her husband, 'Ali, and their 
two sons. Thereupon the courage of the Christians failed them. They dared not 
risk their lives by invoking Divine curse on the liar. They submitted to pay tribute 
to the Islamic government and to live peaceably under it. 

500. 'We cannot but see throughout the earnestness of Muhammad's belief, 
and his conviction that a spiritual illumination had been vouchsafed to him, bringing 
with it knowledge and certainty where to the Christians, as he conceived, all was 
speculation and conjecture/ (Muir, op, cit. p. 460) A curse, in this sense, is not 
only a righteous wish that retribution my immediately visit the guilty but also an 
earnest appeal to God to execute it. It is essentially a prayer, leaving the justice of 
the wish to the decision of the All-Just and All-Highest. When uttered after all 
methods of persuation and argument have failed it indicates on the part of the 
invoker the passion of righteous indignation in its highest and noblest form, and is 
perhaps the strongest possible spiritual weapon in the hands of a wronged and 
oppressed party. 

501. t. *., the account of Jesus and his mother just given, and the fact that 
they were nothing more than mere mortals. Another instance of the emphatic 
repudiation of the Christian trinity. 

502. *. /., there is none to share His person as there is none to share His 

236 Part . ,n 

■ x - \ 

503. *. *.,, All-powerful, which ^a mortal, Jesus, was not. 

504. L e.\ All-knowing, which a mortal, Jesus, was not, 

505. (even after these exhortations and arguments) 

506. (and He is sufficient to deal with. them according to their deserts). 
*The substantive, "the corrupters/ is used instead of the pronoun, 'them' in order 
to. show that to reject the evidences and to repudiate the doctrine of Monotheism 
constitute corruption of religion and faith/ (Bdh) 

507. (O Prophet!) 

508. i. *., the Muslims. 

509. *. e. y wherein there is no variance between various apostles. 

510. (and shall worship neither 'Logos' nor 'Incarnations' nor yej any 
'saints') Cf. the NT :— 'Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt 
thou serve.' (Mt. 4: 10) 

511. (such as the Saints and. 'the Holy Relics')* 'In the long period of 
twelve hundred years ... .... . . the worship of saints and relics corrupted the pure 

and perfect simplicity of the Christian model,' (GRE., III. pp. 209-210) 

512. (such as the Pope, the Church and the Father) . Compare and 
contrast the tenets of orthodox Christianity ,':— 'The church of Christ is the fellow- 
ship of all those who accept and profess all the articles transmitted by the Apostles 
and approved by General Synods. Without this visible Church there is no salvation. It 
is under the abiding influence of the Holy Ghost, and therefore cannot err in the 
matters of faith.' (EBr. XVI. pp. 939-940) 

513. This formula of the Sble-ness of God and of the rejection of all major 
and minor .deities beside Him, the basic principle of Islam, as it is, has ever been 
the common doctrine of all the faiths in their origin. The Jews and the Christians 
had abandoned, in practice as well as in theory, this simple truth for man-made 
dogmas of later growth, 

514. (and reject the doctrine of monotheism) 
, 515. (O Muslims!) 

516. i.e., declare that we rather than you are Muslims— the upholders of 
the true doctrine of God. 'In spite of the rich development, in every sense of the 
term, of the teachings of the Prophet, the Qur'an has invariably kept its place as the 
fundamental starting-point, and the dogma of the unity of God has always been 
proclaimed therein with a grandeur, a majesty, an invariable purity and with a note 
of sure conviction, which it is hard to find surpassed outside the pale of Islam.' 
(Montet quoted in Arnold's Preaching of Islam, p. 414) 

III. SVrat-ul-'Imrin 237 

ri»jr" ____ : ; A&y&, 

65. -(^ijJUUJ • • /. JaIj): 0;P e °P' e ' °f th e Book ! why do you contend re- 
garding Ibrahim 517 whereas the Tawrat and Injil were not sent down save after 
him? 518 Will you not then understand? 

66. (^yJU? . . ■• (kXj.U)' Ah I 619 it is you who fell to contending that of 
whicJl you had some knowledge ; 620 why then should you contend regarding 
that of which you have no knowledge at a//? 621 And Allah knows and you do not 
know : 522 

67. '(.jfyju)] . . • J& U) ibrahlm was not a Jew, nor a Christian, but 
he was an upright Muslim ; 523 nor was he of the polytheists. 624 

68. * ( ^x*£J! . . . \j) Surely the nearest of mankind to IbrfihTm* 26 are 
those who followed him, 526 and this prophet 527 an^ those who believe. 628 And 
Allah is the Patron of the believers. 520 

69. ( , 5> *&j . . . 1^4.) A section of the people of the* Book yearns to 
mislead you, 530 and none they mislead but themselves, and they perceive not. 531 

70. ( rf*dq&> . . . UIj) people of the Book I why do you deny the 
revelations of Allah, 532 while you are witnesses fftereof/ 533 

517. (each sect maintaining that he belonged to their faith) 

518. t. e. Judaism and Christianity were instituted only after the revelation 
of the Torah and the Injil to Moses and Jesus respectively, while Abraham lived 
centuries and centuries before the two ; how then could he .be either a Jew or a 
Christian, in the accepted sense of these terms ? 

519. t D is a particle for calling attention. 

520. i. *., respecting matters mentioned in the Torah and the Injil. 

521. i. e., respecting matters which are not recorded in your books, such as 
the religion of Abraham. 

522. The doctrine that the Holy Qur^an propounded is 'that to every people 
a prophet had been sent, so that a grand catholic faith had pervaded all ages and 
revelations, — a faith which,' in its purest form, had been held by the patriarch 

238 P art m 

Abraham ... . This grand fact it was now the mission of Mohammad to reaffirm. 
Each successive dispensation had been abused by its votaries, who in the course of 
time haH turned aside from its catholic grand work/ (Muir. op. a/, pp. 151-152). 

523. See P. I. nn. 617, 618, 619, 

524. 'He was the first who had the courage to proclaim God as the sole 
Creator of the universe, to whose will all heavenly bodies are subject/ ( JE I. 85) 

525. (in point of faith) 
5^5;" (in this day) 

52f!^ '"'*■. e>, the Prophet of Islam. 

528. i. *., the Muslims, since they have the same essentials of religion. 'The 
Jtrufe heir of Jewish thought/ observes a Christian historian of recent times, 'is 
T^femism, the modern religion of the Semitic race. By depriving Christianity of its 

Greek elements, by setting aside the idea of the incarnation of the Divine in huma- 
nity, which spanned the gulf between God and man, Mohammad restored Semitic 
monotheism to its pristine severity/ (HHW. II. p. 171) 

529. i. e. 9 He helps them and gives them good recompense for their faith. 

530. (O Muslims!) Not content with their own corruption, some of the 
Jews had the further ambition of seducing the Muslims,. 

531. (that their misleading shall rebound upon themselves) 

532. (proving the mission of Muhammad, by distorting and manipulating 
those texts) 

533. (to those texts being the revelations of God) 

///. SQrat-uh'Imran 239 

m&jt. ,. , . *!£&& 


71. (, . jv JUj .'• . J. Ij) people of the Book f why do you clothe the 
truth with falsehood, 6 ? 4 and hide the truth 535 while you know /Y. 536 


72. ( . j^jj . . . c^J'J.) And a section of the people of the 6ook says, 537 
'believe at day-break in what has been sent down to those who believe 538 and 
deny at day-end 539 ; perhaps they 540 may turn away. 541 

73. (f^JU . • . 11 r ) And 'believe not save one who follows your religion'. 
Say thou, 541 A 'surely the true guidance 542 is the guidance of Allah. 54Sv Do you 
envy*** that any one 545 should be given the like of what was given to you ; 546 or 
do you fear** 1 that those others 6 ** might overcome you in argument before your 
Lord? 549 Say thou, 550 'surely the grace 551 is in the hand of Allah. He bestows 
it on whom He will and Allah is Bountiful, 552 Knowing 553 

74. (^iffjjj . • . ^ivj) He singles but for His mercy whom He will, 554 
and Allah is the Owner of Mighty grace. 555 

534. (by mutilating the truth). See P. I. n. 183. 

535. i. *., the mission of Muhammad, and the description of him. 

536. i. e:, are cognizant of what you conceal. See P. I. nn. 184, 185. 

537. (among themselves). The allusion is to the Jews of Khaibar. 

538. I."*., affect to believe in the Qur'an. 

539. i. e> renounce your belief in it in the evening. Instances of such 
mendacious conduct are not unknown to Jewish history. Even so late as during the 
twelfth century of the Christian era certain Jews of Spain left their homes, but 
'others agreed to pronounce the formula of Muslim Greed, while secretly combining 
the observance of their own religion'. (JE. I. 432-433) 

540. i. e., the Muslims. 

541. (from Islam by this stratagem). Some of the Jews, true to their 
traditions of perfidy, counselled among themselves that in the morning they should 
display their belief in the Qur'an, and in the evening should renounce it openly, 

240 Part M 

tiiereby creating an impression in the minds of the Muslims themselves that there 
i/must be after all some flaw in the religion of the Qur'an, or else the Jews, so learned 
in religious lore, would not have gone back. Modern European biographers of the 
Prophet, with huge pretensions to learning and impartiality, who begin by admiring 
his earnestness, his sincerity of purpose and the depth of his conviction, and end by 
denouncing him as a deluded visionary and a false prophet, are almost playing the 
same old game with modern variants. 
541 A. (O Prophet !) 
3*542. (and not your concoctions) 

543. (such bricks therefore would riot avail anything). They who receive 
guidance, receive it from God ; none is able to mislead them. He guides whom He 
will to the right faith and establishes him therein. 

544. (O Children of Israel !) 

545. (other than you) i. *., who knot of your race or tribe. 

546. L e, y the gift of prophecy ; Divine revelation. 

547. (O Jews !) 

548. i. ?., the Arabs; the children of Ismail, who formed the first Muslim 


^49. (and hence your frenzied and frantic envious attacks on those doctrines) 

550. (to the Jews, O Prophet !) 

551. L e. ? the gift of prophethood. 

552. i.e., unstinting in the conferment of His grace. He can bestow the 
gift of His prophecy on anyone. 

553. I. e. } knowing well when and on whom to confer His grace.' He makes 
the recipient of His grace only him who is fitted to receive it. 

554. (so all these envious antics are fruitless) 

555. i. e. y there is no dearth of grace and mercy on His part. He can 
exalt any people, and raise any person He likes. 

///. SOrat-uf-'ImrSn 241 

75. ( v t j^ . . . ^ j) And among the people of the Book is he who, if 
thou 656 trustest him with a treasure/ 57 will return it to thee; 558 and among them 
is he who, if thou trustest him with a dinarius, 55 * will not restore it to thee, except 
thou art ever standing over him. 580 This 561 is because they say, 562 /there is no 
way over us 563 in the matter of the illiterates. 564 And they forge a lie against 
Allah 565 while they know. 566 

76. r^JttJt . . . JL> ) Aye! ■- whoso keeps the covenant 567 and fears 
Allah, then surely Allah loves the God-fearing. 568 

77. Lj\. . . ^jfiJ!.J ) Surely those who sell Allah's covenant 569 and their 
oaths 570 at a small price, 571# no portion is theirs in the Hereafter ; nor shall AHah 
speak to them nor look at them 572 on the Day of Resurrection, nor shall He 
purify them, 573 and theirs shall be a torment afflictive. 

78. (^JUj . . . ^t ,) And surely among them 574 are some who pervert 
the Book with their tongues, 575 that you might consider it 576 of the Book yet it is 
no part of the Book. And they say, 'it is from God', whereas it is not from 
Allah, and they forge a lie against Allah, 577 while they know. 578 

556. (O reader!) 

557. ylioXS is 'A large unknown quantity, or ^aggregate, or property; or 
much property heaped up ; or four thousand deenars/ (LL) 

558. A beautiful way of saying that even among the Jews are some whose 
honesty and integrity cannot be impugned. Such God-fearing Jews eventually 
embraced Islam! 

559. Denarius was a well-known coin in later Roman currency, which the 
Arabs must have used in the early days of Islam. At first they (Arabs) issued gold 
and bronze pieces imitated from contemporary Byzantine coins' (EBr. XVI, p. 630). 
Dinar is still a unit .of currency in Yogoslavia. 

56.0 (Vigorously demanding it of him by litigation, appeals arid production 
of evidence). A faithful picture of the Jew's proverbial love of gold. 
561. i. e. y the refusal to pay. 

242 Part III 

562. * (in justification of this attitude of theirs) 

563. i. e. y there is no reproach attaching to us in the matter of those who are 
not of our race and. faith ; we owe no duty to them. This sums up the attitude of 
the Jew to the Gentile, 'Israel's attitude towards other nations, never marked by 
much cordiality underwent most important modifications in the post-exilic period. 
The reformation of Ezra deliberately aimed at fostering that spirit of exclusiveness 
which gave so much offence to the Gentile world, and which lent not a little colour 
to the charge of Tacitus and others, that the Jews were enemies of the human race/ 
(DB. II. p. 149) 

564. a. #., these ignorant pagans of Arabia. Of the origin and meaning of 
the word ^f says a modern Jew: — "It was not coined by Mohammad, but was 
taken over by him from the speech which he heard. It designated any and all who 
were not of the Israelite race ... Elsewhere, it means precisely "Gentile." (Torrey, 
op. cit. p. 38) See n. 299 above. 

565. (by promulgating a false religious principle) 

566. (that they are enunciating a false doctrine) 

567. (whether that covenant be with God or with his fellow-creatures) t. *., 
whoever keeps his pledge and fulfils his engagement. 

568. Fear of God thus ought to be the mainspring of our conduct. That 
alone can lead us to a life of all-round righteousness and virtue. 

569. i.e., the covenant they have with God of obeying Him. 

570. (in the matter between man and man) 

571. f. *., for immediate worldly gain. 

572. (with grace and mercy) 

573. (from moral filth and spiritual impurity) 

574. i. e., the Jews. 

575. J is primarily twisting, and secondarily perverting, mutilating, forging 
and lying about the texts, and covers all forms of distortion and fabrication. 

576. i. e.> the fabricated part. 

573. (by ascribing to Him certain words or their purport) 
578. (that they are fabricating). Their handiwork is deliberate and of 

III. SQrat-ul'Imftn 243 

,*jf : ; ■ /ffafc 



79 ( j*")^ • • • Ls)*''"*) '* is not P° ssfb,e iof a man to whom Allah has 
given the Bodk and wisdom and prophethood 679 that he should afterwards say to 
men, 'be you worshippers of me, beside Allah'; 680 but 581 'be you faithful 
servants of the Lord, 582 seeing that you are wont to teach the Book 583 and seeing 
that you are wont to exercise yourselves therein'. &6A 

80. ( # ^.i^ . . . 5l) And he 686 would not bid you to take the angels and 
the prophets^for- Lords. 586 Would he bid you to infidelity 687 after you have 
become Muslims? 588 


81. Uj^M . . . i^f iJ )) And when 689 Allah took a bond from 
the prophets, 590 whatever of the Book and wisdom 691 I gave you and afterwards 
there comes to you a messenger 592 confirming what is with you, 693 you shall 
surely believe in him 594 and help him'. 596 Allah said, 'do you affirm, and do you 
take My burden thereto' ? 690 They said, 'we affirm'. He said, Then bear witness, 697 
and I am with you among the witnesses'. 698 

82. ( jjuiji . . . ^j) Now whoso 699 turns away thereafter/ 00 it is they 
who are the ungodly. 

579. (such as He gave to the man Jesus). 

580. AH this is said to confute and contradict the trinitarian Christians. 
Jesus (on him be peace !) as a prophet, could never have taught people to worship 
him or to make him as co-equal with Goq in any sense of the word. An apostle of 
God invites people to follow him to the obedience of God, and surely not to deify 

581. (he would say). 

582. Or 'divines/ or 'worshippers of the Lord/ 

583. (O Christians!) 

584. These are additional reasons for the Christians believing in the Unity 
of God and for their negativing the 'divinity' of Jesus. The advantage of studying 
and teaching .the Scripture is plainly to arrive at the truth. 

585. *'. e. 9 the person endowed with the prophetic office and wisdom. 

244 Fart III 

586. To expatiate on the Christian worship of a prophet of God would be 
to underline the obvious ; but Christian angeiolatory is not perhaps so widely known; 
It may be well, therefore, to call attention to the fact that 'a certain tendency to 
angel-worship manifested itself' in the very early Christian Church; in the 4th 
century a Council of Laodica found 'it necessary to forbid the angel-worship then 
prevalent in the country ■. . . In the next century we find Theodore t referring to this 
prohibition as necessitated by the spread of this worship through Phrygia and Pisidia.' 
(DCA. II. p, 1176). Some of the f Apostolic Fathers^ and c the Apologists' of the 
early centuries held and taught that 'God committed the care of men and all things 
under heaven to angels whom He set over these/ (ERE. IV. p. 578), and that to 
the six holy angels 'the Lord delivered all His creation, to increase and to build it 
and to be members of all creation' (ib). And it was openly averred that along with 
the Father and the Son 'good angels' also were to be worshipped and adored. 'Both 
Him and the Son who came forth from Him and taught us true things, and the best 
.of the other good angels, who follow and are made like unto Him, and the prophetic 
spirit we worship and adore/ .(ib) Also that 'God has the general providence of the 
whole ; particular parts are assigned to angels.' (ib) The Second Council of Nicea, 
in 787 A.D., went so far as to sanction the custom of depicting angels and venerat- 
ing their images. 'By the action of this Council it would appear that the cults of 
the angels, which had originated before the beginning of the period under considera- 
tion as a private devotion, and had met with considerable opposition from various 
ecclesiastical writers, formally received the sanction of the Church, and may hence- 
forward be regarded as part of the doctrine publico/ (p. 581) 

587. (by asking you to believe in the divinity of apostles and angels). 

588. (and have perfectly believed in His Unity). 

589. (prior to the creation of the earth). 

590. t. e.y from their souls. The pledge was, still more binding on their 

591. t. *., knowledge of Divine Law. ui-%*XA. 1S also 'The gift of prophecy, 
or the prophetic office ; and apostleship.' (LL) 

592. i. e. 9 any other apostle. 

593. (and answering to' the description of him you have in a previous 

594. (with heart and soul). 

595. (with words and deeds). 

596. Or 'to that effect.' 

597. A witness is less likely to go back upon his word than an interested 

598. i. /., I too am witness to your consenting. Words stressing confirmation. 

599. (of the people). The reference is to the peoples addressed by their 

600. i. *,, after the covenant so solemnly entered into and its ratification. 

///. SOrat-ui-'/mrSn 245 

J3&td . r&jl'dk 

83. {^^jj . . . yxkiS) Do they 601 seek other than the religion of Allah ? 602 
Yet to Him has submitted whoso is in the heavens and in the earth, willingly or 
unwillingly, 603 and to Him shall they'd// be returned. 604 

84. ( ' .. a ju*» . . . u) Say thou, 605 'we believe in Allah and in what has 
been sent down to us, and what was sent down to Ibrahim and IsmH'il, and 
IshSq and Y'aqub and the tribes, 606 and what was given to Mus§ and 'Island 
other prophets from their tiord ; we discriminate against none of them, 607 and to 
Him we are submissive. 608 

85. ( .j^s^H . . . rt**) And whoso seeks a religion other than Islam, 609 
it shall not be accepted of him 610 and in the Hereafter he shall be of the lost. 611 

86. ( juiliJ! ... lJxS) How will Allah guide a people who disbelieved 61 ^ 
after their belief and after they bore witness that the messenger was true and after 
evidences 613 had come to them. And Allah guides not an ungodly people. 614 

601. i. e:> the infidels. 

602. Note that Islam is here made synonymous with God's own religion. 
See n. 291 above. 

603. All things in nature, whether the heavenly ones or the earthly, bow 
down to His decrees and have perforce to submit to His physical laws — so Exalted 
is He ! His religion alone is worthy of acceptance. 

604. (when everyone shall be dealt with according to his deserts). An 
additional reason for submitting to His commands. 

605. (on behalf of the Muslims, O Prophet!). 

606. i. e., the prophets among them. 

607'. (so far as the fact of their apostleship is concerned, by accepting some 
and rejecting others). 'The essence of Mohamedanism/ says a Christian student of 
the Qur'an and Islam, 'is its assertion of unity of God, as opposed to polytheism — 
and nothing new; it was, as Mohammad said of it, the ancient faith of Abraham, 
and it was upon that faith that the greatness of the Jewish nation was founded ; nay, 
it was the truth which Christ himself made more fully known and understood/ 
(Palmer, The Quran. Intro, p. L). 

608. (as Muslims). See P. I. n. 626. 

246 Part III 

609. 'There is no fitter word for the religion of the human race. If there is 
any one word in the Western languages which can translate it fully, it is the word 
religion itself; and that word needs interpretation for ears untrained in Latin 
speech/ (Dr. J. H. Bridges) 'Islam is among the simplest of all the revealed 
religions, its simplicity is attractive and appealing alike to the man in the street and 
to the philosopher in the closet. Goethe fell into raptures over the Kuran and 
Gibbon found in it a glorious testimony to the unity of God. Belief in One God 
and belief in Mohammed as the prophet of God — such is the quintessence of the 
Islamic faith/ (BK. IV. p. 2282). See also n. 291 above. 

610. This repudiates the comfortable doctrine that all religions are equally 
good, and that different 'paths' adopted by different nations and different grades of 
society converge to the same Divinity. There is only on* straight line possible between 
any two points. Even so there is only one true, perfect and sound relierion. All 
other religions are but so many deviations. See nn. 291, 602 above. 

611. 'This verse contradicts the idea, prevalent in our day among some 
Muslims, that the choice of religion is a matter of individual preference, and that 
every unitarian religion is equally good ..... The Quran says: .... the path of 
Islam is the only right path .... Salvation, according to the tenets of Islam, can 
be obtained only by him who recognises the Oneness of God and the Prophethood 
of Muhammed (which implies the recognition of the former prophets) and does 
good works/ (ASB. p; 51). 

612. .i.e., turned back on it ; apostatized. 

613. (Of the truth of Islam). 

614. i. e.y who do sheer injustice to their ownselves. He does not guide them 
who wilfully reject His guidance and substitute unfaith for faith. 

II. SQrat-u-1'lmran 247 

87. (^,^^.1 . .. . vJtfJj) They are those whose meed is that on them 
shall be the curse of Allah and of angels and of mankind, all; 618 — 

88. (^•y&lji . . .-^jiX&) Abiders therein, 616 their torment shall not be 
lightened nor shall they be respited— 

89. L^) ... ^joJH!) Save such as shall repent thereafter 617 and 
make amends ; 618 verily Allah is Forgiving, 619 Merciful. 620 

90. ( 7 jUJ| . . . ^jiJ! h') Surely those who disbelieve after they have 
believed and thereafter wax in infidelity, their repentance 621 shall by no means be 
accepted. 622 It is those who are astray 623 

■ '91- {^r^ •:. ? ^}*H <J) Surely those who disbelieve and die while 
they are infidels, not an earthful of gold shall be accepted from any such, 624 were 
he to offer it as a ransom. 625 It is they whose shall be a torment afflictive ; nor 
shall they have any helpers. 

615. See p. II. nil. 100, 105. 

616. i. *., in that curse. 

617. i. e. y after apostasy, and make good the harm they have done. 

618. Penitence must come from heartland not be merely verbal. 

619. (so He will accept their repentance). 

620. (so He will be gracious to them). 

621. (from other sins).. 

622. (because they do not repent of the root cause of all their sins — their 
unbelief). Unacceptable is the repentance of those who persist in their apostasy, 
and merely repent from what they fancy to be their wrong conduct. 

623. (and they shall remain unredeemed in spite of their repentnace of 
other sins). 

624. (in the Hereafter). 

625. It may also mean : from hone such shall be accepted an earthful of 
gold, though he were to give it in alms in this world, and though he were to 
ransom himself therewith from punishment in the Next. 


248 /*art /V 


92. (**JU . . . '-\jih -j) You can not attain virtue 1 unless you spend of 
what you love 2 and whatever you spend 3 Allah is the Knower 4 thereof. 

93. ( 'x3±* .. • J.5) All food 5 was allowable to the Children of Israel, 6 
save what Israel 7 had forbidden for himself, 8 before the Tawrat was revealed. 9 
Say thou, 11 * 'bring you then the Ta writ and read it if you are truthful'. 11 

94. ( ^.jJUa)! . . . ^i) Tnen he who fabricates a lie after this 12 against 
Allah, 13 — it is those who are the ungodly. 

95. (.^jjujl . . . Ji) Say thou, 14 'Allah h3s spoken the truth ; 15 follow 
therefore the faith of Ibrahim the upright, 16 and he was not of the polytheists. 

96 ' (ii)^H-WJ • • \J) Ver,,y the first House " set apart for mankind 18 was 
that at Bakka, 19 blest 20 and a guidance to the worlds. 21 

1. (O Muslims!) i. e., to perfect good; to the acme of piety. 

2. (and cherish) i. *., all that you hold dear and near to your heart. The 
term covers the spending of one's wealth and the sacrificing of one's dignity in the 
service of God's creatures as well as the shedding of one's blood in the service of 
God. With supreme trust in Him it appears sometimes unspeakably mean to retain 
one's hold of the most valued of persona! possessions. 

3. — whether that be an object of special love to you or not — 

4. (and He shall reward accordingly). The point is that there is a recom- 
pense for every act of charity-, big or small, but the highest reward is for those who 
spend in His service what they love most. 

5. (allowed in the code of Islam) . 

6. 'Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you ; even as the green 
herb have I given you all things.' (Ge. 9:3). 

///. Surat-ul-'lmran 249 

7. i. e., the Prophet Jacob (on him be peace) ! 

8. (such as milk and flesh of the camel, for some special, medical reason). 

9. (forbidding certain foods to the Jews). For atj^j see P. Ill, n. 214. 

10. (O. Prophet ! to the Jews). 

11. The Jews in the holy Prophet's time were accusing the Muslims of 
taking certain foods which, they said, had been unlawful since the days of Abraham 
(on him be peace !). The . Qur'an denies the charge, and puts the Jews to silence 
by a reference to their own scripture. 

12. (clear exposition) i, *., after the evidence has held the Jews. 

13. (by repeating the charge that certain foods, lawful in the code of Islam, 
had been unlawful since the very beginning). 

14. (O Prophet ! to the Jews). 

15. (in regard to the old law and practice of Israel). 

16. (the progenitor of your race and the fountainhead of your fakh). Ad 
the faith of Abraham is no other than Islam. See P. I, n. 618, III, n. 523. 

17. Built first by Adam, and then, after it had been in ruins, rebuilt by 
Abraham and Isma'il. See P. I, nn. 563 and 577. 

18. (for His worship by Himself). The great antiquity of this House is 
undisputed. 'This square stone temple, . . . .itself of unknown antiquity, was 
situated within the precincts of the town of Mecca. \ (HHW, VIII, p. 108). c It 
had been throughout the ages the object of the greatest veneration; it was looked on 
as a present made by Jehovah to the Arab race to bear witness to its condition privi- 
leged beyond all others. It was the oratory of .Abraham and of Ishmael, the house 
of Allah/ (p. 162) See also P. I n. 563; P. XVII, n. 338. 

19. A variant for Makka. There is a mention of the valley of Baca in the 
Bible (Ps. 84:6). The old translators gave the word the meaning of ' a valley of 
weeping/ but better sense seems to have come now. According to more recent of 
the Biblical scholars, the word 'signifies rather any valley lacking water/ And e the 
Psalmist apparently has in mind a particular valley whose natural condition led him 
to adopt its name/ ( JE. II. p. 415). Now this waterless valley can by its natural 
condition be easily identified with the valley of Makka— a town of great importance 
even in antiquity. 'On the trade with the East, rather than upon any local products, 
depended the prosperity of Arabia. Even as far back as the tenth century B. C. 
the spices, peacocks, and apes of India were brought by ship to the coast of Oman. 
..... A glance at the map will show how Mecca, which lay about half-way 
between Hadharmaut and Petra, must have benefitted by this land commence, and 
explains why it became a centre of population and a resort of merchants/ (Sykes, 
History of Persia, I, pp. 504-505, see also P. XXVI, n. 303) 

20. -f. e. 9 rich in blessings; abounding in good. The sanctuary at Makka 
possessed c a worldwide fame, surpassing even that of the Church of the Holy 
Sepulchre or of St. Peter's at Rome/ (ERE. I, p. 667) 

21. (in virtue of its being the Qibla). The address is mainly to the Jews 
who are told that as the first House of worship and more ancient than the Temple 
at Jerusalem, Ka'ba has the greater right to be regarded as Qibla. 

250 Part IV 


97. (^jlJUJ! . . . nx}) In it are clear signs 22 and the station of Ibrahim, 23 
And he who enters it shall be secure. 24 And incumbent on mankind is pilgrimage 
to the House for the sake 0/ Allah— on him who is able to find a way thereto. 25 
And he who disbelieves 26 — then Allah is Independent of all creatures. 27 

98. t^fijj . . . Jj) Say thou, 28 '0 people of the Book I 29 why do you 
deny the revelations of Allah, 30 while Allah is Witness of what you work, 31 

"• (•j*k* J • • • l}*) Say thou ' 32 '0 people of the Book I why do you 
hinder 83 thdse who believe from the way of Allah 34 seeking to make it 35 crooked, 36 
while you are witnesses ? 87 And Allah is not unmindful of what you work'. 38 

100. l^jyXS ". . . t^U) you who believe ! were you to obey 39 any 
section of those who have been given the Book, 40 they would 41 render you 
infidels 42 after your having believed. 

101. (*£&u,« , . . U^S*) Yet how can you disbelieve 43 while to you are 
recited the revelations of Allah, 44 and in your midst is the messenger 46 of Allah. 
And he who holds fast to Allah, is assuredly guided to a straight path. 46 

22. (of its greatness both material and spiritual, it being the permanent all- 
world centre of the monotheists) . 

23. See P. I, n. 568. 

24. See P. I, n, 566. 

25. i. e. 9 one who has sufficient money, bodily health, etc. The pronoun in 
*£j( may refer either to the House or the pilgrimage. 

26. Note the extreme importance of the Pilgrimage. Wilful neglect of this 
commandment of God amounts to the abandonment of His faith. 

27. (so he who wilfully neglects the pilgrimage doei *o to his own peril, and 
not to any possible hurt to his Lord and Creator). The tribal or national god of the 
polytheistic peoples existed only with and through his tribe or nation. Not so the 
God of Islam. He is Ever-Living, Self-Sufficient. Whether the whole of mankind 
served Him or none observed His commandments, it made no difference to Him 

///. SOrafrul-'Imfin. 251 

28. (Q Prophet!) 

29. The address is mainly to the Jews. 

30. (in the Face of their manifest truth) . 

31. (so that your concealment will not avail). He is the Ever-Living, 
Ever-Present,. Witness of all human actions, passions and motives. If not His love, 
then His fear and the consciousness of His omniscience, ought to prompt one to a 
life of truth, integrity and honour. 

32. (Q Prophet!) 

33. (by guile and deceit). 

34. (in the truth of Islam). Not content with themselves wantonly denying 
the truth of God, the Jews plotted to seduce the Muslims from the faith. The 
particular person alluded to, whom the Jews- endeavoured to pervert from Islam, 
was, as named by the commentators* one 'Amr of Medina. 

35. i. e., the religion of Islam. The pronoun refers to 'the way of" 

36. The Jews hoped to achieve their object by creating schism among the 
Muslims and sowing dissensions among them. A Jew named Shams ibn Q,ais 
happened one day to pass by men of the tribes of Aus and Khazraj, and found them 
engaged in familiar and. friendly conversation. Intensely vexed at this harmony 
which now existed among them as Muslims after they had been most mortal and 
inveterate enemies to each other for 120 years, he directed a young man to sit by 
them and to recite loudly the poem of the battle of Buath depicting one of the 
deadliest of the encounters. This had the designed effect. The tribes began to 
reflect on each other, till at length they came to arms. The holy Prophet, however, 
soon stepped in, and his remonstrances immediately quelled what might have been a 
formidable rising. 

37. (of its truth in your heart) i. e., while your conscience bears witness to 
the truth of Islam. 

38. (so His chastisement is sure to arrive at its proper time). 

39. (or to allow yourselves to be influenced by) . 

40. (but are as yet inveterate enemies of Islam). 

41. (in sheer malice and envy). 

42. (in practice at any rate). For the Muslims to fall to fighting among 
themselves without good reason is, in effect, to revert to paganism and infidelity. 

43. i. *., how is it possible for you to revert to such acts as are tantamount 
to paganism and infidelity. 

44. i. *., while the Holy Qur'an is in your midst. 

45. (physically, so long as he is alive, and in spirit, after his death, that is, 
through his works and words, or sunnah). The point is that there is no earthly reason 
for any one to go back to irreligion so long as the Qur 'an and the sunnah are in 
existence. On the contrary every one has every motive to be a good and true 

46. (and is, therefore; assured of the highest bliss). 

252 Part IV 


102. ( .*JU* • . . \%jL>) you wHo believe ! fear Allah with fear due to 
Him/ 7 and do not die except you be Muslims. 48 

103. (^y*^ . . . S^^^xij) And hold fast all of you** to the cord of 
Allah, 60 and separate not. 51 And remember Allah's favour to you. 62 in that you 
wore enemies, 63 and He joined your hearts together, 54 so you became brethren 66 
by. His favour; and you were on the brink of a pit of Fire, 56 and He rescued you 
from it. 67 Thus does Allah expoundeth to you His revelations that perhaps you 
may remain guided. 68 

104. . .(^caJUJl . . •■ L o^J- ) ) And let there be among you a community 
calling ot hers to good and commanding equity and forbidding evil. 6 * And it is 
these who are blissful. 

105. t^fi ...'. . U,X5!l .) And be not as those who 60 separated 61 and 
differed among themselves 62 after there had come to them evidences. 63 These 64 
are the ones for whom shall be a torment mighty. 

47. i. e>, with as much fear as you are capable of. The verse does not 
mean; fear Him with a fear that is worthy of Him— a command impossible of 
fulfilment. The meaning is : keep clear of sins and transgressions, as you have 
already kept clear of idolatry and paganism. 

48. i. e., full of faith; perfect in conduct, and strict in the observance of the 
Law. To die as Muslims is indeed to 'die like a gentleman/ while to die in infide- 
lity is to 'die as a beast.' 

49. (with one mind and purpose). The address is to the Muslim commu- 
nity, both collectively and individually. 

50. t./., His religion of Islam. 

51. (from each other). The Prophet 'succeeded in introducing into the 
anarchical society of his time a sentiment of national unity, a consciousness of rights 
and duties towards one another such as the Arabs had not felt before. In this way 

///. SOrat-ul-'/mran 253 

Islam was uniting together classes that hitherto had been continually at feud with 
one another/ (Arnold, Preaching of Islam, p. 41). 

52. L e;> the guidance which has, besides conferring other benefits, led to 
unity and solidarity. 

53. (to one another). Internecine warfare in pre-Islamic Arabia has been 
proverbial and pagan Arabia, divided into mutually hostile clans and tribes, very 
much after the fashion of modern European states presented the sight of a veritable 
armed camp. 'Of the time of ignorance which preceded Mahomet, seventeen 
hundred battles are recorded by tradition; hostility was embittered with the rancour 
of civil faction ; and the recital, in prose or verse, of an obsolete feud was sufficient 
to rekindle the same passions among the descendants of the hostile tribes. In private 
life, every man, at best every family was the judge and avenger of its own cause/ 
(GRE, V, p. 323). 'A petty affront or unpremeditated blow, not unfrequently,. 
involved whole tribes and tracts of country in protracted and bloody strife/ (Muir, 
op. cit. Intro, p. cix) 

54. (by Islam) 'Within a brief span of mortal life Muhammad called forth 
out of uncompromising material a nation never united before, in a country that was 
hitherto but a geographical expression/ (Hitti, History of Arabs, pp. 121-122). 

55. (in common faith suppressing every distinction of race and kindred, and 
regarding each other as brethren). The Holy Prophet in the early days of his 
settlement in Medina coupled his principal followers with the rights and obligations 
of brethren. 'The expedient was crowned with success; the holy fraternity was 
respected in peace ind war, and the two parties vied with each other in a generous 
emulation of courage and fidelity/ (GRE. V, p. 357). 'It required the genius of 
Muhammed to unite old enemies, and bind them together/ (EBr. XV, p. 657). 

56. (of Hell by your idolatrous tenets and practices). 

57. (in His infinite loving-kindness by directing you to Islam and its worldly 
blessings). 'A new starting-point was made in Arabia ; the whole past was oblite- 
rated. A new Arabia arose and anew Arabian nation was sumtnoned into existence' 
to take its place in the history of the world and to hold aloft the torch of monotheism, 
or the worship of the one true God/ {BK. IV, p. 2282). 'Here was a truly 
marvellous reform. Muhammed had* created a religion which had none of the 
features of the ancient cults, no priesthood, and no ceremonial, which was based on 
no forms but upon a spiritual relationship to an. unseen God. It was hot designed to 
give prestige to a special group but to create a universal brotherhood composed of all 
men of every race who would accept this God and promise loyalty to His pipophet/ 
(Denison, Emotion as the Basis of Civilization, p. 274). 

58. i. e., steadfast in the guidance and seeking increase therein. 

59. Since the duty of enjoining the right and fbrbidding the wrong entails 
conditions in which the whole nation cannot share, the Holy Qur'an, while addres- 
sing the entire Muslim people, demands the action of a part of it only. 

60. (like the Jews and the Christians, moved by self-interest and other 
ignoble motives).- 

61. (and split into sects and sub-sects). 

62. (concerning the nature, person and attributes of God, the Resurrection 
and other vital doctrines) . 

63. (of the truth of God's religion) 

64. i. e., the wilful rejectors of God's truth from among the Jews and the 

106. i.^ykC . . . sr>) "Op' a day when some faces 65 will become white- 
ned 66 and other faces 67 will become blackened. 68 Then as for those whose faces 
shall have become blackened : 'did you disbelieve after your profession of 
belief ? 68 Taste the torment, 70 for you have been disbelieving'. 
vv 107. ( /.'yxla. . .'.-'Ul'-)"And"as for those whose faces shall have become 
^hitened, they shall be in Allah's merpy ; therein they shall abide. 71 

108. (^j^JUJL) . . . cJJj) These are revelations of Allah ; We rehearse 
them to thee 72 with truth ; and Allah intends not wrong to His creatures. 78 

109. (i^t . . . «J0 5 ) Allah's is whatever is in the heavens and in the 
earth; 74 and to Allah are committed all affairs. 76 


110. (y^ujjl . . . f xX$) You are the best community ever sent forth to 
mankind; 76 you enjoin good and forbid evil, and you believe in Allah. 77 Now if 
the people of the Book have faith, 78 it were better for them ; among them some 
are believers, 79 and most of them are ungodly. 80 

11 1 - (unr*** lj^) The V 81 sha " not be able to harm you 88 except with 
small hurt, 83 and if they fight you, they shall turn their backs upon you ; 84 then 
they wHI not be helped. 85 

65. (of the good-doers). 

66. (with the radiance of joy). 

67. (of the evil-doers). 

68. (with the gloom of fear) . 

69. Thus they will be addressed. The interrogatory form is indicative of 

70. 'Taste' is here ironical, indicative of contempt. 

71. (for ever). It is the eternal nature of the heavenly bliss that is here 

72. (O Prophet ff 

tlL SQrat-u/-'lmr2n 255 

73. (so his judgments shall be, in every instance, absolutely just and equit- 
able). It is riot a capricious spite but absolute and stern justice that leads God of 
Islam to inflict punishment on. His guilty creatures. He is in no wav comparable to 
the malevolent deities of the polytheists. 

74. See P. Ill, n. 23. 

75. (for disposal and judgment). Another reminder of the fact that He is 
the sole Judge and Arbiter. 

76. (to benefit it by your precept and practice, O Muslims !) 

77. Thus the Muslims are the creators, preservers and custodians of moral 
order in God's universe, *. *., His policemen on the earth. 'This is the moral 
justification of the aggressive activism of Islam, the justification of the early Islamic 
conquests and its so-called '-Imperialism" .... Moral knowledge, according to the 
teachings of Islam, automatically forces a moral responsibility upon men. A mere 
Platonic discernment between Right and Wrong, without the urge to promote the 
Right and to destroy the Wrong is a gross immorality in itself. In Islam, morality 
lives and dies with the human endeavour to establish its victory upon earth/ (Asad, 
Islam on the Crossroad, pp. 27-28). 

78. (as they should, and as the Muslims do). 

79. (such as Abdullah ibn Salam and his companions), 

80. (and persistent scoffers). 

81. The allusion is to the jews of Medina. 

82. (O Muslims!) 

83. i! is A slight evil ; less than what is termed ^ (LL). The Muslims 
are here definitely told that the Jews, rich and powerful though they were, would 
not be able, to inflict upon them any serious injury. 

84. t. e. 9 if they ever muster courage to fight, they are sure to receive a 
crushing defeat. And as this actually happend in the case of the tribes Quraiza and 
Nadhlr, the Bani Quinuqa' and the Jews of Khaibar. It affords one more ins- 
tance of the prophetic texts corroborated by the events. 

85. t. e. 9 far from being victorious they shall receive no help from any quar- 
ter ; their end will be complete isolation. 

256 Part IV 

112. ( ,^y*j . . . c^.^) Stuck upon them is abjection 86 wherever they 
may be, 87 except in a compact with Allah 88 and in a compact with m$n; 89 and 
they have drawn upon themselves wrath from Allah, 90 and stuck upon them is 
poverty. 01 that is because they have been denying the signs of Allah 92 and 
killing the prophets of Allah without right. 93 That is because they have disobeyed, 
and they have been transgressing. 94 

113. (cM*?^-:. 1 * • • '****■) Yet were they not a// a,ike ' 95 Among the 
people of the Book there is a community steadfast, reciting the revelations of 
Allah 96 in the watches of night while they prostrate themselves. 97 

114. (^aakajf ... -JU^) And they believe in Allah and the Last Day 
and enjoin good and forbid evil, 98 and vie with each other 99 in virtues. And these 
are among the righteous. 

115. (^AAV.Jb ." . . U«) And whatever of good they do shall not be 
denied. 300 And Allah is Knower of the pious. 101 

116. ( ..Ala. . ./; \) Surely those who disbelieve, neither their riches 
nor their progeny shall avail themselves aught agaifist Allah. 102 These are the 
inmates of the Fire; therein they shall abide. 

86. i.*., insecurity of their lives and ruin of family and property ; see P. I, 
nn. 261,262 ff. 

87. Witness the plight of the Jews, even at the present day (1938), in 
Berlin, and Vienna, and elsewhere. 'While they -dominate the realm of international 
finance and may even dictate in the realm of international politics, ..... they seem 
still to exist on sufferance, as aliens, more or less, undesirable/ (MA). 

88. This covers the exceptions prescribed by the Islamic law, such as. the 
religious recluses, women and children. 

89. This covers the case of those who obtain security by entering into 

90. See P. I., n. 264. 

91. See P. I., nn. 262 ff. 

///. Surat'Ul-'/mran 257 

92. See P. I., n. 267. 

93. See P. L, nn. 269, 270. 

94. (the bonds of the Law habitually). See P. I, nn. 271, 272. 

95. (in their attitude towards the true Faith). 

96. i. e., the Holy Qur^an. 

97. (and it is they who have realised and recognised the truth of Islam). 
Night devotions are particularly meritorious. 

98. Virtuous characteristic of the best community. See verse 110 above. 

99. ix. J. *»+ signifies the hastening with one another or crying, or striving, 
with another in hastening ; or hastening to be, or get before another or others/ 

100. (because of their past). No good action or the need thereof is ever to 
be lost. 

101. (and as these are transparently among the God-fearing, He knows them 
also very well) . 

102. (either by way of compensation, or by way of offering sacrifices on 
behalf of their ancestors). 'The Hindu unites in some degree with the Chinese as 
to ancestor-worship, and specially as to the necessity of having a son by blood or 
adoption, who shall offer the proper sacrifices to him after death/ (PC II, p. 119) 
In Sanskrit the very word 'putra' (son) means, according to Manu, "he that 
delivers his father from the Hell called Put/ 9 (ERE. I, p. 540) 

258 Part IV 

roC^S} cyKScJ 

W*yy ^jaaU^i ^&^*» &§$&&& 

117. ( '^.jJLfe.1 . . . JJU) The likeness 103 of what they 104 spend in the life 
of this world 105 is that of a wind in which is intense cold; it befalls the cornfields 
of a people 106 who have wronged themselves 107 and lays them waste. 108 Allah 
wronged them not 109 but themselves they wrong. 110 

118. ( .jju:; . . . L>1$j) you who believe I take not for an intimate 111 
anyone besides yourselves; 112 they shall not be remiss in corrupting you. 113 They 
yearn for' what distresses you; surely their malice 114 has shown itself of their own 
mouths/ 16 and what their breasts hide is greater still. Verily We have expounded 
you the signs, 116 if you will reflect. 

119. ( )5 6.^aJi . .VfjtfU). Lo - it is you who love them, 117 while they love 
you not, 118 and you believe in the Book, all of it. 119 When they 120 meet you, they 
say, 'we believe'. 121 And when they are alone, they bite their fingers at you in 
rage. 122 Say thou, 123 'perish in your rage. 124 Allah is Knower of what is in your 
breasts'. 126 

103. (in point of fatuity). 

104. i. e., the infidels; those devoid of true faith. 

105. (to gain fame, or out of vanity, or from fear, or for appearances' sake). 

106. (and smiting the herbage and the seed-produce of the field). 

107. (by impiety and irreligion). 

108. (by way of punishment) : 

109. (in bringing to naught what they spent). 

110. (by spending their riches in a way disapproved of by God). 

111. (to whom you may confide your secrets), £jUa,j is 'A friend, who is 
consulted respecting one's circumstances/ or a bosom friend. 

112. i.e., the Muslims. Obviously a wise maxim to preserve the faithful 
from the contaminating influence of impiety and irreligion. 

1 13. JU&> i s 'A state of perdition or destruction ; or a thing's going, passing 
or wasting away ; or being consumed or destroyed/ And the phrase means : 'They 

III. Surat-ul-'lmran 259 

will not fall short, or flag, or be remiss, in corrupting or vitiating, your affairs/ 

1 14. (towards you). The allusion is to the Medinian Jews. 

1 15. (unwillingly, since they cannot control themselves in their extreme 

1 16. (of their intense hatred and enmity towards you). 

117. -—simple and trusting as you are — 

118. (nor believe in your .Book). 

119. (including theirs as believers in all . revealed religions). The word 
olTXJl is here used in generic sense. The Muslims are bound to believe in all 
Revealed Books. 

120. i. e. y the hypocrites among the Jews. 

121. i. e., they aver that they are Muslims. 

122. i. '<?., in the height of their impotent rage. 

123. (unto them, O Prophet!). 

124. (as never shall the end you seek be achieved ; the power of Islam shall 
continue and increase and shall not perish). 

125. (so He knows the spite that is rankling in the breasts of the enemies of 
Islam, and has laid it bare). 

260 Part IV 

120. (i^»^ . . . ^l) Jf there happens xo you any good/ 26 it grieves 
them, 127 and if there befalls to you an ill 128 they rejoice at it. 129 And if you remain 
perserving and Godfearing their guile shall not harm you at all. Surely Allah is 
Encompasser of what they work. 130 


121. (.^ju .<>.. il r ) And re-call when, thou 131 went forth 182 from thy 
house early to assign position 133 to the believers in the battle. 134 And Allah is 

.Hearing, 135 Knowing. 136 

122. ( ^JU$J|' • . • c^&i!) Re- call when two sections of you 137 medita- 
ted that they should flag, 138 whereas Allah was the Patron of the twain .'"•- And 
upon Allah, then, should the believers rely. 140 

123. Lj%)^^ • • • **S) And as s' ur edly Allah succoured you 141 at Badr. 142 
while you were humble'. 143 So fear Allah 144 that perhaps you may return thanks. 145 

124. (.uJ-yk* ... &\). Re- call when thou saidst to the believers, 146 
'suffices it not, to you, 147 that your Lord should reinforce you with three thousand 
angels sent down. 148 

126. (such as unity among the ranks of the Muslims, or their victory over 
pagans) . . 

127. So spiteful are they ! 

128. i. e., any temporary set-back. 

129. So malicious are they ! 

130. (and He is sure to requite them accordingly). 

131. (O Prophet ! as the military commander of the Muslim army). 

132. (in the direction of the Mount of Ohud) . 

133. i. e., places which the Muslim troops should occupy. The choice of 
'position- was of immense importance then, as it is, to a considerable extent, even 
now. And the Prophet, remarkable strategist as he was, paid special attention to 
proper arraying of his troops in the battle-field. Speaking of the first battle of Islam, 

///. SQrat-ul-'imran 261 

says a modern Christian biographer of the holy Prophet :— ' In contrast with his 
opponents, who fought with careless bravado, .... Mohammed championed a 
comparatively modern tactical idea. To the exuberant martial mood and the 
knightly bravery of the Meccans he opposed strict discipline and careful deliberation'. 
(Andre, Mohammed, p. 144-45). 

134. (of Ohud). Twelve months after the battle of Badr, when the third 
year of the Prophet's stay at Medina was drawing to a close, there burst out a storm 
of unprecedented violence. After exceedingly elaborate preparations, the Quraish 
'commenced their march, 3,000 strong ; 700 were mailed warriors, and 200 well-, 
mounted cavalry : the remainder rode on camels Y . , The chiefs of Koraish all joined' 
the force .... . Women were allowed to accompany them . . . .Taking timbrels in 
their hands, they sang to their wild cadence songs of venegeance for kinsmen slain 
at Badr' (Muir, op. cit. 9 pp. 253). The Muslim army, all told, was l,000 y and 
the holy commander had no more than one horse, besides his own, in his whole 
army. And then at dawn, while the columns of the enemy were in sight, and^while 
the Muslim army, led by the holy Prophet, prostrated itself in worship, 'AbdilHah 
ibn Obayy at this moment wheeled suddenly round, and, deserting the army with his 
300 followers took the road back to city/ (p. 275). Thus the Prophet was left 
with but 700 followers, of whom only a hundred were clad in mail, facing a well- 
equipped army four times their number. 

135. (so that He heard all that was said then and there). 

136. (so that He knew all that was happening then and there). 

137. (momentarily losing heart by the precept and example of Abdullah bin 
Obayy, the ringleader of the hypocrites); The two clans of Salima (Kazraj tribe) 
and Haritha (Aus tribe), who occupied the two flanks. 

138. (and withdraw from the battle-field). ^ here implies only a passing 
thought, an inclination, a momentary weakness, not any definite action. 

139. (so that He never allowed them to be actually guilty of cowardice). 
'The early battles of Islam,' 'in the main historical/ c are more than Homeric in 
the reckless valour and the chivalrous devotion that they exhibit' (Bosworth Smith, 
op. cit. 9 p. 207). 

140. (and let them never again be influenced and disturbed by disheartening 

141. (O Muslims !). This is said to awaken in their memory an occasion on 
which reliance on God had worked wonders. 

142. Badr is a camping-ground and market, about twenty miles south-west 
of Medina noted for plentiful supply of water, and situated at the union of the road 
from Medina and the caravan route from Syria to Makka. 'Here was manifested 
for the first time how the hope of a blessed hereafter had filled the believing 
Moslems with an enthusiasm which defied death and despised pain .... The battle 
of Badr was of the greatest importance for the victory of Islam.' (HHW. VIII, 

262 Part IV 

pp. 120-121) 'However unimportant in itself as a military engagement, this 
Ghazwat Badr laid the foundation of Muhammed's temporal power. Islam had 
won its first and decisive military victory ... Hitherto it had been a religion within 
a state ; in ai-Madinah, after Badr, it passed into something more than a state 
religion— it itself became the state. Then and there Islam came to be what the 
world has ever since recognized it to be— a militant polity' (Hitti, op. cit., p. 117), 
^ before a noun signifying place or time is almost synonymous with J . So that lj 
here may also be rendered as 'close by/ 

143. i. e., poor in regard to numbers, mounts and armour. 'They mounted 
by turns a train of seventy camels/ but such was the poverty of the early Muslims 
'that only two could appear on horseback in the field* (GRE. V. p. 361). See p. X. 
n. 37. The battle was fought on the 17th or 19th Ramzan, 2 A. H. or according 
to the Christian calendar on the 17th March, 624. 

144. (as that Divine succour was the result of your fear of God). 'The 
spirit of discipline and contempt of death manifested at this first armed encounter 
of Islam proved characteristic of it in. all its later and greater conquests' (Hitti, 
op. cit.). 'It laid the foundation of the Prophet's power and likewise for the further 
propagation of Islam and rarely did the superior ability of the Prophet show itself 
so clearly as on this occasion.' (EI. I, p. 559). See' also P. X, n. 9. 

145. (for such special favours as the Divine succour in war). 

146. (to allay their alarm and dismay at the news of the enemy reinforce- 
ments, O Prophet!) 

147. (for cheering you up and strengthening your hearts). 

148. (from heaven for this very purpose) 

///. Sural- ul-'ImrZn 263 

*wjf0) ; _ ; <«vCr^ 

® vjpvm r^itrj^^t ■$*. ■ &>- m^>&& asm & 

' • m fi 1 f* - x * >9\\<» *'*'*< y 9 *~ '9 9 4 9 >K ' ' * '.' iff 9 S> 9"\i * 'i< ' 9 \ 

125. ( ■.%**•$«*♦ . . . Jb) Yea • if / ou t> ut remain steadfast and God- 
fearing, 149 and they should come upon you immediately, 150 your Lord shall 
reinforce you 151 with five thousand angels marked. 162 

126. (^isJl . . . U •) An d this promise 15 * Allah did not make except 
as a joyful announcement to you, 164 so that thereby your hearts might be set at 
rest— and no success is there but from Allah, 156 the Mighty, 166 the Wise 157 -— 

127. ( .u^la* . , •: ■ aLa$J ) In order that 168 He may cut off 169 a portion of 
those who disbelieve. 160 or abase them 161 so that they may go back frustrated. 162 

128. (rtfJJa . . . .t^O Nought with thee is of. the affair ; lw He shall 
either relent towards them 164 or torment them 165 for they are the ungodly. 166 

1 29. {*x*») . . . *JU A Allah's is whatever is in the heavens and whatever 
is in the earth. 167 He forgives whom He will, and torments whom He will ; and 
Allah is Forgiving, Merciful 168 


130. (^saJU; • • • M^s) ° you who be,ieve ! do not devour usury 189 
multiplied manifold; 170 and fear Allah, haply ye may thrive. 171 

131. (. v j,*xU .'. . !*Ajt.) And beware of the Fire prepared for the 
infidels. 172 

132. (, ^j . . . V*l*f.j) And obey Allah and the messenger, 173 haply 
you may be shown mercy. 

149. (at the time of war and be not inclined to indiscipline) 

150. ^ .3 ♦j^tyt means c they came in a headlong manner/ (LL) 

151. (even then, when human succour is most difficult to obtain). The 
Holy Prophet on the eve of his departure for Ohud said in the course of his 
address:— ,lf ye be steadfast, the Lord will grant you victory... . .Wait on the 
Lord. Only be steadfast, and He will send you victory/ The entire emphasis is 
on the virtues of constancy and discipline. 

152. (by their special badges). ' .j^^ in the Kuran may mean, either 

264 Part IV 

marked by the colours, or the like, ~of their horses, so as to be distinguished from 
others, or, sent forth' (LL). 

153. i. *., the promise of reinforcements by the angels. 

154. £.*., as an earnest of your victory. 

155. (in fact and reality). The verse besides serving as a warning against 
the possible deification of angels and making it clear that it is God alone, and not 
His angels, who really cause victory, also demonstrates the truth, inexplicable on 
any other ground, that the expansion of Islam was due solely to the direct Divine 
intervention. 'Even though it be admitted/ says a non-believing Christian, 'that 
Mohamed laid the foundations of hii laws in the strongest principles of human 
nature, and prepared the fabric of his empire with the profoundest wisdom, still 
there can be no doubt that the intelligence of no man could, during his lifetime, 
have foreseen, and no combination could have insured, on the part of one individual, 
the extraordinary success of his followers/ (Finlay, Greece under the Romans, p. 446) 

156; i, e. 9 Able to grant victory, without any ostensible and apparent cause. 

157. L <?., making concession to the vulgar mind that looks up more and 
more to the immediate causes. 

158. The conjunction is dependent on some such words as 'He succoured 

159. (at your hands). 

160. This took place on the day of Badr when seventy of the chosen chiefs 
of the Quraish were slain and seventy others taken captive, 

161. (by their complete rout). 

162. i. e. broken and in utter despair. 

163. (O Prophet!) i. e.> the fate of the. rebellious Makkans. With this 
verse is resumed the tale of Ohud left off in vers^e 120. The Prophet as he sat 
wounded in his face and as the blood was being wiped off him, reflected sorrowfully 
on the fate that awaited his rebellious people and is said to have remarked, 'How 
shall a people prosper who treat thus their prophet who calleth them unto the Lord V 
Thereupon the verse was revealed. 

164. (by opening their hearts to Islam) 

165. (in this very world) 

166. (and merit immediate punishment) 

167. See P. Ill, n. 23. 

168. (so that no special reason is required for the exercise of His forgiveness 
and mercy) 

169. i. e. 9 neither lend nor borrow money on interest. The close connection 
between war and national loans and debts is too plain to need expiation. 'The 
Talmud classes the usurer with the murderer, neither of them being able to atone 
for his crime. It even forbids the acceptance of interest and in the Middle Ages 
even the smallest interest of the pawn shops was considered usury/ (JE. IX, 

///. SU rat-uf-'lmran 265 

p. 373). Yet the Biblical law 'does not impose any limit in dealings between Israelites 
and Gentiles* (XII, p. 388). And the Jews and the Christians both have found it 
'impossible to carry out the canonical restrictions without stopping all progress in 
commerce/ (p. 391). It is thus the Holy Qur'an alone that has forbidden the 
practice for all ages and in all circumstances, regardless of all 'commercial* 
considerations. For 'usury* see P. Ill, nn. 141, 146 and the Appendix. 

170. (making the rich richer and the poor poorer). 'What offends the 
moralist to-day is that money is lent by those who have abundance and returns to 
them to increase that abundance, the increase being the unpaid dues of labour, 
which alone, the argument runs, produces wealth/ (ERE, XII, p. 554). 'In some 
countries are found instances of the exaction of interest at thirty, fifty and even 
higher per cent* (CD. p. 988). 

171. The basis of prosperity and success, both in this world and the 
Hereafter, is fear of God, not greed of gold. 

172. (essentially and primarily). Hell is intended for the infidels. Muslims 
are, warned to guard themselves against imitating them or practising their actions. 

y 7$. (cheerfully and with all your heart). 

266 Part IV 

ij^ii ^?r>i33;t@u^;^ fts u^i#^;*& toft 

133. (-axUJ . . . V)U 5 ) And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord 
and towards the Garden 17 * as vast as the heavens and the earth, 176 prepared for 
the God-fearing; 176 

134. ( -i^swJ! . . . ^oJ!) Those who spend 177 both in weal and 
woe, 178 who repress anger 179 and who' pardon men; 180 and Allah loves the well- 
doers. 181 

135. (^.jJUj . . . ^«^t 5 ) Al ^ d those who, when they have committed a 
misdeed 182 or wronged themselves, 183 remember Allah 184 and beg forgiveness of 
their sins 188 — and who forgives sins save Allah? 186 — and do not persist in what 
they have done while they know. 187 

136. (^JLjJl . • . l-££J 5 I) I* « s those whose recompense 188 is forgiveness 
from their Lord and Gardens beneath which rivers flow. They shall abide therein; 
excellent is the wage of the workers! 189 

137. ( *^dXJt . ... ^>) Dispensations have gone forth before you; 190 go 
about them on the earth, and see what has been the end of the beliers! 191 

174. (by betaking yourselves to actions leading thereto). 

175. This merely gives an idea of its unimaginable vastness. 

176. Muslims are thus exhorted to acquire positive merits and win the way 
through to everlasting Bliss and not to rest content with the mere negative aspect of 
abstaining from evil. 

177. (benevolently ; in the service of the Creator and His creatures) 

178. (alike) i. e. 9 in all circumstances; in times of prosperity and comfort 
and in times of adversity and distress. 

179. (even under grave provocation). Mark the word jfc$ . It is not the 
obliteration of the irascible emotion but only its repression or control that is 
commended in Islam. bjJJ) ^uihXJl are those who refrain from giving vent to 
their wrath while they have the power to do so, and those who have mastered their 

III. SQrat-ul-'Imran 267 

180. i. e., those who refrain from punishing those whom they have a right 
to punish. Note that this teaching was given in the first place to the Arabs, the 
most revengeful of all the peoples. 'To the heathen Arab, friendship and hostility 
were as a loan which he sought to repay with interest, and he prided himself on 
returning evil for evil, and looked down on any who acted otherwise as weak 
ridering' (Arnold, Preaching of Islam, p. 43). 

181. It is related of Hasan the son of Ali that a slave having once thrown a 
dish on him boiling hot, as he sat at table, and fearing his master's resentment, fell 
immediately on his knees and repeated these words, Paradise is for those who bridle their 
anger 3 . Hasan answered, I am not angry. The slave proceeded, and for those who forgive 
men. I forgive you, said Hasan. The slave, however, finished the verse, adding, for 
tiod loveth the heneficient. Since it is so, replied Hasan, / give you your liberty, and four 
hundred pieces of silver. (Sale, The Koran, London 1892, p. 46). 

182. (involving injury to others). Literally i &&&JJ is ' an excess ; an 
enormity; anything exceeding the bounds of rectitude/ Here it signifies a sin 

.involving injury to others. 

183. i. e. 9 committed a sin injurious to themselves. 

184. i. e,, His commandments and His prohibitions, immediately or soon 
after the deed. 

185. (by remorse and repentance and by making amends in the way pres- 
cribed by the Law). Parenthetically, this encourages people to ask His pardon, 
and implies a promise that their repentance will be accepted. 

186. (the God of Mercy and Forgiveness). A staggering blow to the 
Christian idea that the power of forgiving sins is in the hands of Christ arid the 
pastors of his Church. Cf. the NT :— 'Then said Jesus to them again. . . . Whose- 
soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain, 
they are retained'. (Jn. 20: 21-23). 'Unlimited power of remitting sin was promised 
and conferred upon the Apostles and their successors by Jesus Christ. This power 
is exercised in the Sacrament of Penance' (CD. p. 821). And the following is an 
extract from Dr. Butler's 'Catechism' for the Roman Catholics:— 

'Q,. By whose power are sins forgiven ? 

A. By the power of God, which Christ left to the pastors of the 
Church,' (p. 84). 

187. (that they have committed a sin and: that they have to make proper 
amends for it) t. e., they do not repeat the sinful act knowingly. 

188. (for all their sins and faults). - / ■ ; 

189. (of good). <: u 

190. (O Muslims!) i. e., different ways of life, of -faith and unbelief, with 
their different fate. 

191. i.e., ruin and perdition in this very work}. March in the earth, and 
take warning by the vestiges of their destruction which you shall see. 

268 P*rt IV 


138. (^Sx-JU . . . !<**>) This m Qw'a" is an exposition for mankind and 
a guidance and an admonition for the God- fearing. 193 

1 39. ( # jJUf* . . . 3L) And do not faint nor grieve, you shall triumph/* 4 
if you are believers. 

140. ( .juJiiJl .■'. . ^1) If -'3 distress has come in your way, 1 * 5 a like 
distress has surely befallen that people. 106 Such 1 * 7 are the haps 1 * 8 that We 
change about among mankind, so that Allah may know 1 ** those who believe and 
may take martyrs from among you; 200 and Allah does not love the ungodly 201 — 

141 * (^jW • •• L ^»**J,) And that Allah may purge those who 
believe, 202 and wipe out the infidels. 203 

142 * (isHft^'- • ■* • *♦') 0r ' do y ou thlnk that you shall enter the Garden 204 
while yet Allah has not known, 205 those who have striven hard, 2M nor yet known 
the steadfast ? 

143. {^ybxj . .. . <UJ 5 ) And certainly you 207 were wont to long for death 208 
before you had met it. 20 * Now you have seen it, 210 even when you are looking 



192. According to some the word 'this' may refer to the preceding passage, 
'Dispensations have gone forth before you/ 

193. Note once again that they alone can benefit by the Qur'an who are 
alive to the fear of God ; to them alone it can serve as a guide for right knowledge 
and right conduct. 

194.' (O Muslims!) i. *., be uppermost both in arguments and in arms, 
because you are on the side of truth, not falsehood. 

195. (as in the battle of Ohud). 

196. (as in the battle of Badr). 

197. (vicissitudes of success and defeat). 

198. Literally, Mays/ 

199. (demonstrably) *. e., God intended by this reverse to sift the true from 
the false among those who professed Islam. 

Ill SUrat-ul 'Imrin 269 

200. Martyrdom is the highest honour that a Muslim can aspire to achieve ; 
so God intended, so far as the Muslim slain were concerned, to raise them to 

20 1. (so that no number of victories on the part of the infidels can prove 
that they are in the right or are of the loved by God). He allows them occasional 
success either to tempt them or to test the believers, or with some such other end in 
view in accordance with His Universal Plan. 

202. (of any impurities that they might have contracted). Trials and tribu- 
lations in the case of true believers have always the effect of purifying their hearts 
and improving their morals. 

203. (gradually, by making them still more arrogant by temporary successes, 
and thus hastening them on to their final end). jUa^l * s to diminish a thing little 
by little. 'It is true that in the following year (625) the Makkans under Abu- 
Sufyan avenged at Uhud their defeat and even wounded the Prophet, but their 
triumph was not to endure. Islam recovered and passed on gradually from the 
defensive to the offensive and its propagation seemed always assured/ (Hitti, op. cit. 
P- 117). 

204. (distinguishedly). Mere entering the Paradise is not necessarily subject 
to the test of 'striving hard' and 'great steadfastness/ But those who, like the 
companions of the holy Prophet, were ambitious of distinguished ranks and grades in 
Paradise, must undergo hard tests. 

205. i. *., known in the world of experience, and not in His fore-knowledge 
of every event. 

206. (in His cause). 

207. i. e., some of you. 

208. (by martyrdom). Persons who were not present at Badr desired to be 
present with the Apostle at another sacred battle in order to gain the distinction 
obtained by the heroes of Badr ; so they urged him to gd out on the day of Ohud. 

209. t.>., before you faced it and had an actual experience of its terrors. 

210. t. e.> its near approach. 

211. (then why waver now ?). 

270 ^art/V 


144. (.^^aji -.'.'.'. U ,) And Muhammad is naught but a messenger; 212 
and messengers have surely passed away before him. 213 Will you then/ if he 
dies or is killed, turn round on your heels. 214 And he who turns round on his 
heels> tibes not harm Allah at all. 215 And surely Allah will recompense the 
grateful. 216 

14%. ( jX&Jj . . . U •)' 'It is not open to any person to die except by 
Allah's will 217 at a time recorded. 218 And whoso desires the reward of this 
world, 219 We grant to him of this, 220 and he who desires the reward of the 
Hereafter We grant to him of that. 221 And surely We will recompense the 
grateful 222 

146. (.^^^j! . . . >•#*) And many a prophet has fought 223 with a 
number of godly men beside him. For aught that befell them 224 in the way of 
Allah, they never fainted nor they weakened, 225 nor they abased themselves. 226 
Anrf Allah loves the steadfast. 227 

1 47. ( jOXJI . . . U .) And their speech was naught save they said, 228 
'our Lord I forgive us our sins and our exorbitance in our affairs 229 and make our 
foothold firm 280 and make us triumph over the disbelieving people.' 

212. (and therefore subject to the law.of change ; and not an immortal God, 
beyond the reach of death). 'Mohammed to the end of his life claimed for himself 
that title only with which he had begun, and which the highest philosophy and the 
truest Christianity- will one day, I venture to believe, agree in yielding to him — that 
of a Prophet, a very Prophet of God/ (Bosworth Smith, op. cit., p. 344). The 
word &+sa* literally means. C A man praised much, or repeatedly, or time after 
time: endowed with many praiseworthy qnali ties' (LL)! 'The name was rare 
among the Arabs/ (Muir, op. cit., p. 5). 'No impartial student surveying the 
career and character of Mohammed can fail to acknowledge his loftiness of purpose, 
his moral courage, his sincerity, his simplicity, and his kindness. To these qualities 

III. SUrat-ul-'Imran 271 

must be added unsparing energy and a genius for diplomacy (Sykes, History of 
Persia, I, p. 520. See also P. XXVI, nn. 107 and 333). 

213. (so he too will pass away at the end of his span of life). 'These verses 
constitute one of the most moving and impressive portions of the Qur'an, and the 
lesson they taught was never forgotten. And yet when seven years later the Prophet 
lay dead in the lap of his beloved wife Aeysha,' the news of his death produced such a 
consternation among his devoted followers that they expected the heaven to burst 
open and the earth to cleave asunder and wondered how long it could he for the 
end of the world to come. The loving Umar was entirely beside himself. . . . It was 
on a scene of such stormy emotions that the tender-hearted but ever tranquil Abu 
Bakr arrived from the suburb of Madina, where he lived .... He said to the 
assembled crowd with that sureness of conviction that. had won him the title of 

Siddlq, "O Men ! he who worshipped Muhammad, let him know that verily 
Muhammad has already passed away; but he who worshipped Allah, let him know 
that verily Allah is living and shall never die/' And then he recited .... "And 
Muhammad is no more than an apostle .:.... /*' This allayed all doubts and fears, 
and a great tranquillity ensued. People who had constantly read .... the verse that 
Abu Bakr so appositely quoted, stated that when he recited it on this memorable 
occasion, it seemed as if it had just been revealed' (MA). Such is the evergreen 
freshness of the Holy Qur'an \ 

214. (to apostasy). The Holy Prophet received serious wounds in the battle 
of Ohud, and a rumour went round that he was slain. Then some of the hypocrites 
said, c had he been a prophet, he had not been killed, return therefore to your 
brethren and your ancestral religion/ The verse alludes to this incident. 

215. (but only hurts himself). 

216. i. e., those who show their gratitude to Him for the benefit of Islam by 
adhering to it. 

217. (so that nobody can delay his death or anticipate it by keeping away 
from battle or plunging into it). 

218. (in His fore-knowledge). So that death shall come neither before nor 
after that time. 

219. (to the exclusion of his reward in the Hereafter). 

220. (and he shall be deprived of his portion in the Hereafter). 

221. (and We pledge Ourselves to that). 

222. i.-e., those who were thankful for His mercy, and were not diverted 
by anything from fighting in His cause. 

223. (against the infidels, and in the cause of faith). 

224. (by way of disasters). 

225. u e., their zeal did not diminish in the least. 

226. (before the enemy). 

227. (and so He helps them and exalts their station). 

228. (with true humility and becoming modesty, and far from any faltering 
in act and deed, even in their word and speech they were so pure and sincere). 

229. The godly and God-fearing in the fervour of their prayers and the 
purity of their hearts are ascribing sins and excesses to themselves by way of self- 

230. (against infidels). / 

272 Part IV 

> LyjJ' *V^ <^ p^l* *cw£ UjA^I U* -i^4r2p*^>j^3l4-f^w 

148 (^JUaU!.,-. . f&ls) So 231 Allah granted to them the reward of 
■.'this world 232 and the excellent reward of the Hereafter. 233 And Allah loves the 
well-doers. 234 


149. (^Jy^sL . . . lfc*L>) O you who believe ! if you obey those who 
disbelieve, they will send you back oh your heels, 335 and you will turn back 
losers. , 

150. {j y «ix)\ . . . AS) But Allah is your Patron; 236 and He is the Best 
of helpers. 23 * ^ 

151. (^j^JLiaJI • . . Alk~) Soon will We put terror in the hearts of those 
who disbelieve, 238 for they have joined with Allah, that for which Allah has sent 
down no authority; and their resort is the Fire. Vile is the abode of the wrong- 
doers. 239 

231. I./.,, by '-reason of their steadfastness and their imploring forgiveness 
and taking refuge with Him. 

232. i. *., glorious victory and good name. 

233. The epithet 'excellent' is in order to indicate that the reward of the 
Hereafter only is of consequence with God. 

234. (and "He, shall recompense them accordingly). 

235. (to apostasy). 

236. (and Protector). 

237. (so have implicit confidence in His friendship and in His help, and 
through Htm dispense with the alliance of others). 

238. A remarkable instance of this terror-stricken mentality is furnished by 
the behaviour of the Makkans after their show of a ' victory s at Ohud. The 
natural course for them was to advance into Medina. Instead, they hastily retreated 
to Makka without making the least use of their 'success/ ...In . fact, : it was the 
Muslims who pursued them as far as Hamra-ul-Asad, and succeeded in making one 

III. Surar-ul'lmran 273 

of the enemy a prisoner. A curious sight indeed of a 'victorious' army in retreat 
and the 'crest- fallen and crippled Muslims' in pursuit ! c The Quraish were seized 
with terror when they saw the serious and determined faces of the believers. For 
the emigrants and their brothers war was not a knightly sport or a festive parade to 
gain national honour. It was as serious as death. Already in this battle we gain an 
impression of the spirit which dominated the young militant congregation of Islam' 
(Andre, op. cit., p. 203). 

239. i. e., those who are so unjust as to transfer to others what is due to God 

274 Part IV 

152. ( #>a jujj? .-• . aXJ.) And Allah has assuredly made good His 
promise 240 to you 241 when you were extirpating them by His will, 242 until you 
flagged, 243 and you quarrelled about the command 244 and you disobeyed 245 after 
He had shown you 246 what you had longed. 247 Of you some 24 * desired this 
world, 249 and of you some 250 desired the Hereafter, 261 therefore 252 He turned you 
away from them 253 that He might test you; 254 and varily He has pardoned you. 256 
And Allah is Gracious to the believers. 

153. (^JL*; . . . cSl) And re-call when you were running off 256 and 
would not look back on any one, whilst the messenger 257 in your rear was calling 
you. 258 Then He caused grief to overtake you for grief, 259 so that you might not 
grieve 260 for what you might lose nor for what might befall you. 281 And Allah is 
Aware of what you work. 262 

240. (of help and assistance). 

241. (in the early stages of the battle of Ohud, consequent on your obedience 
and steadfastness) , 

242. (and were in sight of complete victory). 

243. i. e., the archers disobeyed. Muir's account of the battle will bear 
reproduction. The holy Commander of the faithful, before the battle had begun, 
'posted on an adjoining eminence. the flower of his archery, and gave their leader 
stringent orders on no possible contingency to quite the spot .... " Guard our 
rear/' he said, "and stir not from this spot ;• . . . if we be pursued and even worsted, 
do not venture to our aid/' .... Pressed by the fierce ardour of the Muslims, the 
Meccan army began to waver .... The same daring contempt of danger was 
displayed as at Badr .... But now the Muslims pressed too hotly their success. 
Their line lost form and order; and a portion, piercing the enemy's ranks, fell to 
plundering its camp. The archers who had hitherto held the Meccan horse in 
check, saw from their height the tempting opportunity, and casting the Prophet's 
strict injunction to the winds, .... hurried to the spoil. The ready eye of Khalid 
saw the chance, and he hastened to retrieve the day . ... The Muslims broke at 

fff.S0rat-uf-'/mr9n 275 

every point* (Muir, Life of Mohammed, pp. 258-261). 

244. (of the Prophet not to quit their post in any case). Ten, out of fifty 
archers, stayed with their leader at the position assigned, the rest making for the 

245. (the express injunction of your holy commander) . 'The implicit 
obedience which the troops of the Prophet paid to his commands, rendered their 
discipline as superior to that of the imperial forces, as their tactics and their arms 
were inferior* (Finlay, op. cit., p. 355). 

246. (with your own eyes) . 

247. (in the way of your victory and the complete discomfiture of the 

248. i. *., the forty archers who left their station for the booty. 

249. (by pursuing the enemy and getting the booty) . So that this 'worldli- 
ness' also was not for its own sake, and not in itself an entirely unworthy goal. 

250. i. e. y those who kept their places. 

251. (pure and simple). A goal yet higher and nobler. • 

252. i. e. f on which account; in consequence of your disobedience and lack 
of discipline. 

253. (and withheld the Divine aid from you) . 

254. (by misfortune, and test the endurance of your faith thereby). So that 
this set-back too, was not in the way of punishment, but merely as a means of the 
trial of faith.; 

255. This shows that the guilt of the forty impatient archers was intellectual 
rather than moral — a gross error of judgment, and not a wilful rebellion. 

256. (in utter confusion) . 

257. (far more courageous than any of you). 

258. ('Whither away ? come back! I am the apostle of Allah V). 

259. i.e., in recompense of the sorrow you caused to the Prophet. The 
address is to the Muslims who flagged at Ohud. 

260. (in the future, by getting inured to steadfastness under adverse fortune, 
O Muslims !) 

261. i. e. 9 'that you might accustom yourselves to endurance in tribulations, 
and not grieve thereafter over advantages which escaped you, nor to harm which 
befell you/ (Bdh). 

262. (and He requites each accordingly). 

276 Part IV 


154. {yidj*s\\ . . *$) Then after grief, He sent down to you a security,— 
slumber coming over a section of you, 263 while ahother section, concerned <?bout 
themselves thought of Allah unjustly: the thought of paganism. 264 They said, 26 * 

have we aiight at all of the affairs'? Say thou, 206 'the affair is wholly Allah's. 267 
They hide within themselves what they do not disclose to thee, 268 saying, 26 * had 
we aught of the affair; we would have not been slain here. 270 Say thou: 'had 
you stayed in your houses, even then those decreed to be slain would surely have 
gone forth to their deathbeds. 271 And this has happened \n order that He might 
test what was in your breasts 272 and purge that was in your hearts; 273 and Allah 
is Knower of what is in the breasts. 274 

155. (*£Jb> . ■• . ^j) As for those of you who turned back on the day the 
two hosts met, 275 it w&s Satan who made them slipbecause of something they 
had earned, 276 and assuredly has Allah pardoned them 277 Verily Allah is 
Forgiving, 278 Forbearing. 279 


156. {yfraj . . . ItajLj) O you who believe ! be hot 280 like those who 
disbelieve 281 and say of their brethren 282 when they 283 travel in the land 284 or go 
to religious war: 285 'had they been with us, 286 they had not died nor had they been 
slain.' This is in order that Allah may cause an anguish in their hearts. 287 And 
ft. is Allah who makes alive and causes to die, 288 and Allah is the Beholder of 
what you work. 289 

157 * (isl^-^W ■• • • i^ J )) Sure,y if ^ ou are s,ain in the way of A,,ah or 
die, 290 forgiveness from Allah and mercy are better than what they amass. 291 

263. The action over, the Muslims were by mid-day on the cliffs of Ohud, 
an<^the Makkans in the plain below. It was now that some of the Muslims had 
an agreeable and refreshing sleep. Surely nowhere is the blessing of sleep to be 
appreciated more than in the battlefield after a battle in war. 

III. Surat-ul 'Imran 277 

264. (questioning and doubting the ProphetsV promise of Divine interposi- 
tion and Muslim victory). The reference is to the hypocrites who could not conceal 
their satisfaction. ^JUtsJ! is a well-known synonym for the Arabian dark ages or 
pre-Islamic Arabia, but an erudite Egyptian scholar has recently shown, as quoted 
by Dr. Z'aki All, that instead of its literal meaning, the word 'ratber denotes 
arrogance, ostentation and contention which were prevalent among the Arabs before 
Islam, in contradistinction to modesty, pious resignation conducive to peace, and 
the advantage of good deeds over the nobility of pedigree, these being distinctive 
features in the ethics of Islam/ (Zaki Ali, Islam in the World, p. 3, f. n.). According, 
to an European scholar of some considerable merit, the term r in reality means the 
period in which Arabia had no dispensation, no inspired prophet, no revealed book/ 
(Hitti, op. cit., p. 87). 'It is the collective noun form Djahili, a pagan Arab/ 
(EI. I. p. 999). Cf. the NT : — 'And the times of this ignorance God winked at ; but 
now commandeth all men every where to repent/ (Ac. 17 : 30). 

265. (in great chagrin). 

* 266. (O -Prophet! unto them). 

267. i. *.-, the decision is entirely His; He does what He decrees what He 

268. (O Prophet !) i. e. y they harbour inwardly disapproval and unbelief 
while ostensibly ask for direction. 

269. (when they are alone with one another) . 

270. f. e.y had our advice as to keeping within the town of Medina been 
taken and acted upon, and had we had any discretion in the matter we would not 
have moved, and our friends and relatives would never have been slain. 

271. (since He has ordained all events and disposed them in His original 
plan and none can reverse His decrees). 

272. i. *., your sincerity or otherwise.. ~~Nbw begins a resume of the positive 
benefits accruing from the Ohud reverse. 

273. (from the Satan's suggestions). ' 

274. (so that He is in no need pf testing and lifting for Himself; all such 
tests by Him are by way of demonstration — for the purpose of making known to 

275. (at Ohud). 

276. i. e.y because of their previous shortcomings, since each transgression 
induces another. 

277. (owing to their repenting and asking pardon). 

278. (f. *., He forgives sins ultimately). 

279. i. e.y He does not hasten the punishment of the sinner, in order that he 
may have yet time to repent. 

280. (in your speech). 

281. (in their hearts, but pass for Muslims) t. e., hypocrites. 

278 Part IV 

15 ® v (isa*** 35 "•' •"• tsr^i)- And whether you die 292 or are slain, 293 assuredly 
unto Allah shall you be gathered. 294 

159. ( ^IJjXJl . . • U*i) It was then of the mercy of Allah that thou 
hast been gentle with them, 296 and wert thou rough, hard-hearted, they had 
certainly dispersed from around thee. 29 ? So pardon them thou, 297 and ask thou 
forgiveness for them 298 and take thou counsel with them 299 in the affair, 300 and 
when tiou hast resolved, 301 put thy trust in Allah. 392 Verily Allah loves the 
trustful. 303 

•160. (.jjjJUfJl .... l)'"'f' Allah helps you 304 there is none that can over- 
come you ; and if He forsakes you, 306 who is there that can help you after Him ? 308 
And in Allah let the believers trust. 

161 ■■{isM+V**-* • • I**) '* is riot 7/>e parrot -a Prophet 307 to hide anything 
away; 308 he who hides anything away, 309 he shall bring forth on Day of Judge- 
ment what he had hidden away; 310 then shall each one be repaid in full what 
he has earned and they shall not be wronged. 311 

162. l^^ui] . . . .^il) Is then he who follows Allah's pleasure 312 like him 
who has settled under the displeasure of Allah? 313 — 1 his resort is Hell, 314 and ill 
is that destination. 

292. (at home) 

293. (in war) 

294. Two things are thus made absolutely plain. First, the hour of death 
is immutable. It cannot be avoided whether one is at home or abroad, in peace or 
at war. Secondly, equally inevitable is the return of every soul to God. Why, 
then, should death in the cause of faith be feared at all? It ought rather to be 
courted and welcomed as a sure road to eternal bliss. 

295. (O Prophet!), i.e., with those guilty of disobedience and indiscipline 
at Ohud. Gentle dealing with those guilty of gross misbehaviour on the battle- 
field resulting in a heavy disaster is perhaps unique in the annals of military 
operations. Particle [^ is added for emphasis, and to indicate that the Prophet's 

///. SUrat-uh'Imran 279 

282. The brotherhood may be either of descent or of religion. 

283. i. e. 9 the latter ; their brethren. 

284. (in the cause of Islam and happen to die). 

285. (and happen to be slain). 

286. i. e. y if they had stayed with us and had not gone out. 

287. The purport of the passage is : — Muslims ! do not behave like the hypo-, 
crites in uttering such blasphemies and in cherishing such foolish ideas. Whatever 
was ordained by God in His infinite wisdom was bound to befall them. God is 
only causing such beliefs as a matter of sighing and lamentation in the hearts of the 

288. *. e. y it is He who is the sole operator in the matter of life and death; 
staying at home in peace or going out on war has nothing to do with either. 
Speaking of 'the prayer culture'' of the Muslim Arabs says an American 
sociologist: — 'The solidarity of the group gave it great power, and its efficiency in 
warfare was increased tenfold by the teaching of an absolute fatalism, which made 
it futile for a man to seek to avoid death, and by the assurance that at the moment 
pf death in battle he entered paradise, there to dwell among its groves and foun- 
tains/ (Denison, op. cit., p. 376). 

289. (so beware of imitating the hypocrites in thought and word ■.!).. 

290. (while engaged in His cause.) 

291. (of this world and its comforts). The meaning is: marching and 
campaigning is not a. thing that can bring about death or hasten the end ; but should 
that occur in the path of the Lord, His mercy and forgiveness which you shall 
obtain by such death are immensely better than what the others amass of this world 
and its comforts by their life. Everyone journeying or fighting in the cause of God 
shall be made a partaker of the delights of Paradise. 

280 Part IV 

leniency with his people was definitely an act of providential mercy. 

296. 'The Prophet, always inclined to mildness . . / (HHW. VIII, p. 121). 
'He never struck any one in his life .... He neyer first withdrew his hand out of 
another mai/s palm, and turned not before the other had turned .... He was the 
most faithful protector of those he protected, the sweetest and most agreeable in 
conversation ; those who saw him were suddenly filled with reverence; those who 
came near him Joved him/ {The Speeches and Table Talk of the Prophet Muhammad, 
op. cit., pp. 27-28). 'Cruelty was no part of Mohammad's nature 5 (LSK. p. LXX). 
'Generous and considerate towards his friends, he knew, by well-timed favour and 
attention, how to gain over even the disaffected and rivet them to his service . ... . 
He rarely pursued a foe after he had tendered timely submission. His commanding 
mien inspired the stranger with an undefined and indescribable awe; but on close 
intimacy, apprehension and fear gave place to confidence and love/ (Muir, op. cit., 
p. 27). 

297. (on thy own behalf for their disobeying thy commands). It is reported 
on good authority that the Prophet did not utter a single harsh word to those whose 
misbehaviour had brought such disastrous result at Ohud. 

298. (regarding what concerns God directly). 

299. (as before). 

300. i. *., in the important affairs of the community, such as peace and war. 
Note the essentially democratic character of the commonwealth of Islam. Even 
the divinely-guided prophet is enjoined to establish, by his example, the practice of 
deliberation in the community. 

301. (on a certain course after seeking their advice). 

302. (and do not put off action any more) . 

303. i. e. y those who put trust in Him and act accordingly. The adherents 
of Islam, even non-Muslims observe, 'enjoy a consciousness of contentment and 
resignation unknown among followers of other creeds. Suicide is rare in Muslim 
lands/ (Hitti, op. cit., p. 129). 

304. (as He did at Badr). 

305. (as He did at Ohud). 

306. i. e. y after desertion. 

307. i. e.y it is incompatible with the office of a prophet. 

308. On the division of booty at Badr a red night-gown was found missing. 
Somebody remarked that it might have been taken away privately by the Prophet 
himself. The remark was made either by one of the hypocrites out of pure malice, 
or by some new convert to Islam under the impression that the Prophet had a 
perfect right to do so. The Qur'an, in either case, refutes the presumption 
categorically, and regards the act absolutely unworthy of a prophet. 

309. Jrf is 'He acted unfaithfully ; . . . . it signifies also, he took a thing 
and hid it among his goods/ (LL). 

HI. Surat-ul-'lmran 281 

310. (and shall be publicly exposed ; with the curse and sin thereof he shall, 
be loaded) 

311. The argument in effect is this: those guilty of corruption are bound to 
undergo punishment and exposure, their doom is certain; but the prophets are due 
tp be exalted to the highest pinnacle of honour and glory; how then can an act of 
such infamy find a place in their spiritual equipment ? 

312. (such as every prophet is bound to do). The Islamic conception of 
prophethood is entirely different from the Biblical description of the prophets — 
ascribing to them all manner of evil deeds and acts of the filthiest nature. A 
prophet, according to the Quranic sense of the term, is himself sinless and pure 
before purifying others. 

313. (on account of his transgressions). 

314. (as a cheat's abode is bound to be). 

282 Part IV 



163. ( j, f% , ... ^ Of c//Verse ranks 316 shall be they 316 with Allah, 817 
and Allah is Beholder of what they do. 318 

164. (^yuM . . . &*)) Assuredly has Allah conferred a benefit 319 on the 
believers 320 when He raised up to them a messenger 321 from amongst them- 
selves, 822 who rehearses to them His revelations 323 and purifies them, 324 and 
teaches them the Book and wisdom, 325 while they were afore 326 in an error 
manifest. 827 

165. (jj*3J ♦ . . UJ ) Is it 328 that when a reverse has befallen you, 329 even 
though you had inflicted twice as much, 330 you say: whence is this ? 331 Say 
thou : it is but from yourselves. 332 Surely Allah is-Potent over everything. 838 

166 ' (L)*^^' • • • ^)) And what befel! you on the day when the two 
hosts met 834 was by Allah's will, 336 and that He might know the believers. 

315. (of reward and punishments, of grace and reprobation). 

316. i. e. y those who follow the pleasure of God, and those who earn His 
displeasure. * 

317. (proportionate to their conformity with, and divergence from, the laws 
of God). 

318. So that He will recompense each according to his desert. 

319. (immense and unparalleled). 

320. The benefit of the mission is of course universal, but the believers are 
specialized because they alone profit thereby. 

321. (so eminent). See P. I, n. 589. 

322. t. e. 9 one of their kind. The word, according to a variant reading of 
the Qur'an, may be read as ,^£jt , meaning * from the noblest of them/ See P. I, 
n. 590. 

323. (and commandments) 

324. (of superstitious beliefs and evil practices). See P. I, n. 593. 

325. i. e>> the Sunnah. A prophet, in Islam, is not a mere medium, an 

///. SUrat-ul-'Imran 283 

inert, mechanical transmitter of Divine truths, but a teacher, interpreter, and 
expounder of those profound truths. See P. I, n. 592. 

326. i. e. 9 before his advent. 

327. t. e. t steeped in evil beliefs and worse morals. 

328. The interrogation is expressive of reproach. 

329. (at Ohud), i. e. 9 loss of 70 men. 

330. (on the foe at Badr, where you slew 70 and took 70 prisoners). 

331. i. e., how has this defeat come about, believers though we are ? 

332. (by your disobeying the Prophets command and leaving your station). 
The promise of victory and Divine help was contingent on the Muslims remaining 
steadfast and obedient. 

333. i. e., He is able both to give help and to withdraw it. 

334. (at Ohud). 

335. (comprising many benefits not apparent on the surface). 

284 Part IV 


167. (.^jtfj •■• . fJUjJ.) And that He might know who played the hypo- 
crite. 386 And it was said to them, 337 'come ye, 33 . 8 and fight in the way of Allah 
or defend. 338 They said : 'if we knew it was to be a fair fight 340 we would 
certainly have followed you.' 341 Nearer were they 342 on that day to infidelity 343 
than to faith.* 44 They say with their mouths what is not in their hearts; 345 and 
Allah knows best what they conceal. 

1 ®8. ''(.W&3** • • • .*->«^0 The y sa y °' ^ e ' r b re ^ ren ' 348 while they them- 
selves stayed 847 at home: 'had they obeyed us, 348 they had not been slain*. Say 
thou : 'then avert death from yourselves if you are truthful/ 349 

169. (^*3'5>j . ... >•) And reckon not thou 850 those slain in the way of 
Allah as dead. 361 Nay, they are alive, 352 . and with their '.Lord,* 68 and provided 
for. 864 

170. / ^yjacu . . . ^.xswj.i) .Exulting in what Allah has granted them of 
His grace. 355 And they rejoice in those who have not yet joined them from 
behind them, in the thought that no fear shall come to them, nor shall they 
grieve. 356 

171. (^ji^fJI . . . d ,,^x*j) They rejoice at the favour of Allah 857 and 
His grace, 358 and that Allah wastes not the wage of the believers. 358 


172. L^ • . . ^j&l) Those who answered to the call of Allah and the 
messenger 360 after the wound that befell them 36 *— for those who did well among 
them and feared Allah, 362 shall be a mighty wage— 

336. i. <?., that the believers and the hypocrites might be discriminated 
openly* and the faith of the one party and the infidelity of the other made clear. 

337. i. e. 9 to the hypocrites, 300 in number, when they were on the point of 
deserting the Muslim army, before the action had actually commenced. 

338. (in the battle-field). 

339. i. e. y act as defences and help in repelling the enemy by sheer force of 

///. Sarat-u/-'/mran 285 

your numbers. 

340. i. *., if there Was going to be anything worth to be called a battle. 

341. (but when the enemy is outnumbering you by four to one, and is far 
better equipped than you, it is an act of madness to plunge in so unequal a fight). 

342. (even openly). 

343. (which they were hitherto wont to dissemble). 

344. (which they were hitherto wont to profess). 

345. (so even this excuse of the dissemblers was' a feigned one, the real 
reason of their falling away being their total lack of faith). 

346. (by descent), i.e., of the Muslims who had fallen at Ohud ? 

347. (and kept aloof from the battle) 

348. i. e. 9 followed our counsel by staying at home. 

349. L e., if you are right in supposing that their death ensued only as a 
consequence of their going to the field of battle. 

350. (O reader!) 

351. (like ordinary mortals). 

352. (with a distinguished life) . 

353. j. *., ranked high with Him. 

354. (with every provision befitting them) . 

355. f. e.> their high rank, their spiritual sustenance, and the like. 

356. (if and when they too are slain in the cause of God like themselves). t 

357. i. e. 9 in the recompense of their works. The first rejoicing refers to the 
condition of their brethren, and this one to their own condition. 

358. i. *., an increment to their recompense. 

359. A truth of which now they are having the actual experience. 

360. (dutifully, and marched forth with him to meet Abu Sufyan and his 
men once again at Badr). 

361. (at Ohud). One year after the O hud catastrophe the Makkans under 
the leadership of Abu Sufyan set out with 2,000 foot and 50 horse for Medina, 
but only a day or two later their hearts failed them, and they retraced their steps. 

362. (which as a matter of fact did all of them). ^ in **JU, is merely 
explanatory, emphasizing the two qualities mentioned, and not limiting the number 
of the recipients of 'mighty hire/ 

286 Pat IV 

173. (.Utyt • • • - *8&0 And those to whom certain persons 363 .said : 
verily the people 864 have mustered against you, so fear them, it 365 merely increased 
them in belief, 866 and they said: 367 suffices us Allah, 368 and an excellent Trustee 
is He. 368 \ 

174. (^ji^ . . . l^JlAJli) They then returned 370 with a favour from Allah 371 
and His grace. 372 No evil touched them, and they followed Allah's pleasure, 873 
and Allah is Owner of mighty grace. 374 

175. (TjW^JUf* . . . Ul) It is only that Satan 375 affrights you 876 of his 
friends; 377 so fear them not, but fear Me, if you are believers. 378 

176. L^lhz ... JL) And let not those .-grieve thee 378 who hasten towards 
. infidelity; 880 verily they shall not harm Allah 381 at all Allah intends not to 

provide for them a portion in the Hereafter, and theirs shall be a torment mighty. 

177. (^J| . . . 'A)~ Of a truth those who have purchased infidelity for 
belief 388 shall not harm Allah at all 383 and theirs shall be a torment afflictive. 

363. (hired and bribed by Abu Sufyan, the pagan chief of Makka, for the 
purpose of spreading terror among the Madina Muslims). 

364. i. *., the Quraish. 

365. i. ti\ this alarming and disheartening news. 
^66. (instead of their being discouraged thereby). 

367. (with their confidence in God redoubled). 

368. (to protect us). . 

369. i. *., an excellent object of confidence. It is recorded that when Abu 
Sufyan went away from Ohud, he cried out, 'Mohammad ! our rendezvous is the 
fair of Badr next year if thou wilt' ; the apostle of God answered, 'If God will/ 
Then when the next year came, Abu Sufyan went out with the people of Makka, 
till he alighted at Marra Zahran, where God cast terror into his heart, and he 
went back. While on the return journey, some riders from 'Abd Qais passed by 
him making for Madina. He promised them a earners burden of raisins if they 
discouraged the Muslims by circulating news of the Makkan supermacy. (Bdh). 
'Koreish engaged No'aim, of a neutral tribe, to repair to Madina, and there give 

///; SQrat-ul-'tmrin 287 

forth an exaggerated account of the preparations at Mecca in the hope that, with 
the field of Ohud yet fresh in memory, the Muslims might be deterred from setting 
out/ (Muir, op. cit., p. 286). 
.'■'' 370, (from Badr). 

371. t. e. 9 merit in the sight of God and safety and increase in faith. 

372. i. e., gain in merchandise. 'They Carried with them great stores of 
wares and merchandise for the annual fair. They maintained a standing camp at 
Badr for eight days in defiance of Koraish, and, having bartered their goods to 
advantage, return to Madina* (Muir, op. cit., p. 287). 

373. (whereon depends the acquisition of the best of both worlds). 

374. His munificence towards them was evident. 

(1) in His confirming and increasing their faith, 

(2) in His aiding them towards hastening to the fray, 

(3) in their remaining firm and displaying courage against the 

.-(4) in His preserving them from anything that might hurt them, 

(5) in their acquiring worldly gain, and 

(6) in their assurance from Him of their reward. 

375. (as personified in this instance by the hired emissary of the Makkans). 
See n. 369 above. 

376. (O Muslims!). 

377. i. *., those who follow him; his crew. 

378* (indeed, as true faith implies that the fear of God shall be above the 
fear of men). 

379. i. e. 9 let not those be a cause of much concern to thee, O Prophet ! 

380. i. e. f the hypocrites, who at the slightest turn of scales against the 
Muslims began to avow their unbelief openly. 

381. i. e., His faith. The principal cause of anxiety to the holy Prophet 
was the thought that the hypocrites, by their constant machination, might retard to 
a certain extent the progress onwards of Islam and the Muslims. The verse sets at 
rest his anxiety on this score. 

382. (and who are enemies of Islam either avowed or secret). 

383. (but shall only harm themselves). 

288 Part IV 

- ^is* ^ ?♦*& ffic; 4&* »" .flffiffi ^■ai.oitjfe^j 0£ 1 

178 - (»*A**'-* • %) And let not those who disbelieve think that We 
respite them for their good: We respite them only that they may increase in sin; 384 
and theirs shall be a torment ignominious. 

179. (pxlaji ... . ,j : KU) Allah is ^ ot one to ,eave the believers 386 in the 
state wherein you are unless He has discriminated 386 the impure from the pure. 
And Allah is not one to acquaint you with the Unseen. 387 but Allah chooses him 
whom He will 38 * of His messengers. 389 Believe therefore in Allah and His 
messengers; 39 * and if you believe and fear, yours shall be a mighty wage. 

180. (y^6n ..*)) And ,et not those who stint 391 with what Allah has 
granted them in His grace consider that this 392 is good for them. Nay, ft is bad 
for them, and soon shall that with which they stint be hung round their necks 393 
on the Day of Judgement And Allah's is the heritage of the heavens and the 
earth. 394 And Allah is Aware of what you do. 395 

384. (as they grow in years). 

385. (to continue indiscriminately mixed with* the hypocrites). 

386. (by means of repeated trials and tribulations) 

387. (O mankind !) Such knowledge, for instance, as who is a true believer 
and who is not. The hypocrites had said, 'If Mohammad is a true prophet of God, 
. let him tell us which of us believes and which does not/ 

388. (out of mankind for this special knowledge ; for a revelation of His 
mind). . 

389. The rendering of this verse is rather difficult. Here the construction 
adopted by Th. is closely followed. 

390. Mark the catholicity of Islam. Even here the command is to believe 
in apostles (in the plural), and not only in the Last Prophet. 

391. (when it is incumbent upon them to spend). 

392. i. e., their niggardliness. 

393. (in the form of a serpent twisting about). 'They shall have that 
whereof they were niggardly made to cleave to their necks like the neck-ring : as it 
is said in a tradition, it shall be made a biting snake upon the neck/ (LL) 

394. i. e., to Him belongs in reality everything that can be bequeathed from 
one to another ; so the niggardly really stint His own goods instead of spending 
them in His way. j 

395. (so be sincere in your motives, and spend promptly on proper occassions) . 

///.■ SOrat-uf-'Imran 289 

^^ . «£& 


181 (lV^' •"• • ^aJ) Assuredly has' Allah heard the words of those 
who say: 396 'surely Allah is poor and we are rich.' Surely We shall write down 397 
what they have said 398 and their killing of the prophets Without right 399 and We 
shall say, 400 'taste the torment of the burning/ 

182. (,j^*JU . . cJJi) This is for what your hands have sent on before, 
for verily Allah is no wronger of His slaves. 401 

183 Lj**^ . • i tfj&ft) There are those who say: 402 'verily God has 
covenanted with us 403 that we should not believe in a messenger unless he brings 
to us an offering which fire shall devour/ 404 Say thou: 405 'surely there came to 
you messengers 406 before me with evidences and with what you speak of, 407 then 
why did you kill them , if you are truthful?' 408 

184. (oju! •". . JL*) If then they reject thee/ 09 even so were rejected 
messengers before thee, who came with evidences 410 and scripture and. the 
luminous Book. 411 

185. ().>*Jl . . • AS) Every soul 412 shall taste death 413 . and only on the 
Day of Judgement you will be repaid your wages in full. 414 Then he who shall 
be removed 416 far away from the Fire prnd made to enter the Garden, indeed has 
achieved the goal : and the life of this, world 416 is naught but an illusory 
enjoyment. 417 

396. (by way of ridicule). The reference is to the Jews. Banu Qainuqa*, 
a Jewish tribe populating the outskirts of Madlna, followed the money-lending and 
goldsmith's craft. They were invited to embrace Islam, and the Prophet wrote to 
them exhorting, among other things, to 'lend unto Allah a goodly loan' (quoting 
Baqara : 245). Phineas Bin Azura, a leading Jew, thought it fit to make a fun of 
the expression, and mockingly remarked, 'Surely God is poor, since they seek to 
borrow for Him/ 

397. (in the rolls of the recording angels). 

290 Part IV 

398. (and We shall not let a saying so impertinent be passed over). 

399. Those who had the hardihood to slay their own prophets wantonly were 
not unlikely persons to utter words like these. See P. I, nn. 269, 270, 

400. (when sending them to chastisement on the Day of Judgment). 

401. (so this punishment also is only an outcome of the culprits' own 
doings). JUs) though intrusion in this form is here synonymous with JU& , 

402. (inventing a lie on God). The reference is again to the Jews. 

403. i. #., the race of Israel. 

404. /. *., God has charged us to believe in no apostle until he works this 
particular miracle. Cf. the Bible :— ' And the glory of the Lord appeared unto all 
the people. And there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon 
the altar the burnt offering and the fat/ (Le. 9 : 23, 24). Also Jn. 13 : 20-23 ; 1 Ki. 
18 : 38 ; 1 Ch. 21 : 26, 2 Gh. 7:1. Fire thus came to be regarded by the Jews 'as 
one of the agents of Divine will/ and Divine fires was expected to consume the 
acceptable offering. (JE. V. p. 392). 'In the ancient Jewish religion and many 
others fire is the means whereby offerings' are transmitted to the deity/ (EBr. IX. 
p. 262). And it was also perhaps this deep-rooted superstition that led the Israelites 
of later times to offer their children as sacrifice to Moloch, the god of fire. 

405. (O Prophet 0. 

406w (of your own race, O Israel !). 

407. t. e.. with that particular miracle! 'And there rose up fire out of the 
rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes/ (Ju. 6:21). 'Then the 
fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice/ (1 Ki. 18:38). 'Now 
when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and 
consumed the burnt offering and sacrifice' (2 Ch, 7:1). 

408. The argument is: if it is the working of this particular miracle that 
could generate belief in you, and your hesitating and refusing to believe in me is on 
account of it, why then did you refuse to believe in those who had wrought it among 
other miracles, and even made bold to slay them ? 

409. (O Prophet!). 

410. u e.y evident signs and miracles. This is to serve as a consolation to the 
holy Prophet for the unbelief of his people and of the Jews. 

411. (containing laws and ordinances). 'Zubur' are books confined to wise 
maxims, counsels and reproofs. 

412. (irrespective of merits and demerits). 

413/ Note that, in Islam, death is as natural a phenomenon as life, and a 
necessary concomitant of animal life, as the word 'soul' implies. Death, perhaps, 
had been known upon the earth long before the human species appeared and is in no 
way connected with the 'original sin' of Adam. This corrects and contradicts the 
Christian and the Jewish conception of death, C/. the NT: — 'Wherefore, as by one 
man sin entered into the world, and death by sin ; and so death passed upon all men, 

III. Surat-ul-'lmran 291 

for that all have sinned/ (Ro. 5:12). 'For the wages of sin is death/ (5:23). 
•And sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death/ ( Ja. 1 : 15). So in Christianity, 
'death is a punishment for sin . . . . and though the character of punishment is 
wiped away in Baptism death itself remains as an effect of sin.' (CD. p. 283). 
Death came through sin ; and human death is the common lot of man, first because 
of his own personal sin; and, secondly, because it is part of the inheritance which 
Adam has transmitted to his descendants/ (DB. I, p. 841). And among the Jews, 
'death was held to be the consequence of sin and a sinless person would necessarily 
be immortal. "There is no death without sin**/ (ET. p. 78). 'There are different 
views among Jews concerning the cause of death. Some assign it to Adam's first 
sin in partaking of the forbidden fruit. This view is somewhat modified by the 
Rabbis, who regard death as the fruit of personal sin ; maintaining that, like Adam, 
each person dies on account of his own sin/ (JE. IV. p. 483). 

414. (O mankind I). So that if any one escapes' punishment in this world he 
is not to feel secure. The expression 'in fulP also suggests that some part of the 
wages may be paid before that day. 

415. (altogether, or only after a brief sentence). 

416. i. e>, its pleasures and its delusions. 

417. Or 'a vain bauble/ i. e., a deceptive ware ; unreal, unsubstantial, as 
compared with the everlasting Hereafter. 

292 Part IV 

186. ,::()j^9t . . . ^jljJj) You shall surely be tried 418 in your riches and in 
your lives and will surely bear much injury 419 from those who were given the 
Book before you, and from those who join gods, 4 ' 20 and if you endure and fear 421 
Allah, then surely that 12 ' 2 is of the commandments determined. 

187. X^yXA* • . . 31..) And re-c^// when Allah took a bond from those 
who were given the Book, you shall surely expound it 423 to the people and you 
shall not hide it; 4 * 4 Luc thereafter they cast it behind their backs, and sold it for a 
small price. 425 Vile is that with which they have sold. 426 

188. ( ^Jl . . . ^j^ookt y) Imagine not thou 427 that those who exult in 
what they have brought, 428 and Jove to be praised for what they have not done, 429 — 
imagine not thou that they 430 shall be secured from the torment. 4 And theirs shall 
be a torment afflictive. 431 

189. Ljaj . . . UJ 5 ) Allah's is the kingdom of the heavens and the 
earth, 432 and Allah is Potent over everything. 433 


1 90. (lJUJUS ... j) Verily in the creation of the heavens and the earth 434 
and in the alternation of the night and the day 435 are signs 436 for men of under- 
standing 437 - 

418. (by God, O Muslims !) 

419. i.e., many hurtful sayings in the way of ridicule of the Apostle and 
other things provocative to a believer. 

420. (with the One true God : so you ought to accustom yourselves to 
patience and endurance and be prepared to meet these things when they come. 

421'. (to disobey God and to overstep the bounds of His law). 

422. *.*., forbearance and fear of God. 

423. i. e. y the whole of Our message. 

424. 'Teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons/ (Dt. 4:9). 'We will not 
hide them from their children, showing to the generation to come the praises of the 
Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done/ (Ps. 78: 4). 

///. Sural- uf-'/mran 293 

'What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light : and what ye hear in the ear, 
that preach ye upon the housetops/ (Mt. 10 : 27). 

425. i. *,, the goods of this world. 

426. (as leading to the everlasting Fire). 

427. (O reader !). 

428. (in the way of hiding the truth and concealing their sins). 
429 (in the way of observing the bond and proclaiming the truth). 

430. (who are guilty of suppression of many truths of their religion including 
the prophecies about the holy Prophet). 

431. (even in this world). Exposure of their forgeries, banishment, and 
loss of life and property were some of the features of this punishment. 

432. (and the governance of the affairs of mankind). 

433^ (and well able to punish the culprits). 

434. The heavens and the earth are all created beings, and there is no such 
thing as a Sky-god or an Earth-god, as held by several polytheistic religions. In 
the Hindu cosmogony, for instance, 'both Heaven and Earth are regarded as gods 
and as the parents of god even though they are said to have been generated by gods/ 
(ERE. IV, p. 156). 

435. Even 'night' and 'day/ like darkness and light, have been worshipped 
as deities. 

436. (of His Unity and of the perfection of His Knowledge and power and 
other attributes). 

437. The holy Prophet has observed: 'Woe to him who reads this verse 
and does not ponder thereon/ 

294 Part IV 

«&*$ ; '_ stetf 

a& ^ GSj&Ueft t&M*^ fcK* ^V ^#^ fc#ve&i& 

191. .()Uj| . . . ^iJl) Who remember Allah 438 standing and sitting and 
tying on their sides 489 and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth; 440 
our Lord! Thou createdest not all this in vain- 441 ' Hallowed be Thou!' 442 save 
us Thou from the torment of the Fire. 448 

192. (jUaJj. . . . tJL?)) Our Lord Lverily he whom Thou wilt cast into the 
Fire, 444 him Thou hast surely humiliated, and for the wrong-doers there shall be 
no helpers. 

193. .L\tf$\ '. .. . Uj)) Our Lord ! verily we ! we have heard a caller 445 
calling to belief : believe in your Lord'. So we have come to believe Our Lord ! 
forgive us our sins, 446 and expiate from us our misdeeds, 447 and let us die along 
with the pious. 448 

194. (aU^uJ) . . . UU)} Our Lord ! grant us what Thou hast promised us 
by Thy messengers, 448 and humiliate us not on the Day of Judgement. 450 Verily 
Thou ! Thou failest not the tryst. 461 

438. (in thought and in words). , 

439. i. *., constantly and in all attitudes and postures. The thought of God, 
even according to the non-Muslim observers, occupies an ' abiding place' in the 
mind of every devout Muslim. 'The mere mention of any proposed activity or 
even of the recurring phenomena of Nature is accompanied with the phrase "If 
God will;" and pious phrases such as, "God is great" are frequently upon the lips 
of the devout, and are used to fill up pauses in ordinary conversation/ (Arnold, 
Islamic Jaith, p. 19). 

440. (to gain guidance and admonition). According to an authentic 
tradition of the holy Prophet 'there is no form of devotion like meditation/ 

441. i. *., without some wise Plan and Purpose. iyl> in the context is 'In 
play, or sport ; acting unprofitably ; or aiming at no profit/ (LL). This repudiates 
the well-known Hindu doctrine of Maya calling the whole universe an illusion. 
This also affirms the reality of the external world. The world as we perceive by 
senses is real, not a phantasm of imagination. 

///. Slirauuh'lmftn 295 

442. i. *., far be Thou from creating it aimlessly as a mere sport. 

443. This prayer of the believers is an outcome of their intense belief in 
Him and His perfection. 

444. (as his everlasting punishment). This eternal damnation of the infidels 
is to be distinguished from temporary sentence of certain believers for the sake of 

445. i. *., the holy Prophet, whose call may have been heard either directly 
or through others. 

446. t. £., capital offences. 

447. i. e. 9 - light offences. 

448. (and be privileged with their fellowship and numbered in . their 

449. i. e.y Paradise and Thy Grace. The request is made obviously not out 
of any fear that the promise may be broken, but out of slieer apprehension lest the 
petitioner may not be one of those to whom the promise is made, due to some fault 
of his own — a touching sign of deep devotion and humility. 

450. i. e., so make us enter the Paradise from the very start. 

451. (i. e., His promise to reward the believer and to answer him who prays 
and implores). 

296 Part IV 

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;**» 4i) | *U% U> >-<W I, JJ^ <J^ X>, Nfc> C* ^~* J-$-^ W^' £* v^ ^^> ?& 

195 (l^I^jUI . . . .Ljtsjjuli) then did their Lord hearken unto them saying: 
1 let not the work of a worker amongst you to waste, man or woman, 452 one of 
you from the other. 463 So 454 those who emigrated and were driven forth from 
Iheir houses and persecuted in My dause, and who fought and were slain, 455 — 
surely I will expiate from them their misdeeds and surely I will make them enter 
into Gardens beneath which rivers flow, a reward from before Allah. 456 And 
Allah I with Him is the excellent reward. 

196. (Sk^iS . . . UJjaj 3) Let not beguile thee 467 the moving to and fro 
in the cities of those who disbelieve 458 - 

197. (a^l . . . *bu) A brief enjoyment; 459 and then Hell shall be their 
abode; ill is that resort. 460 

198. ()\yJ\ . . . h<3) But as to those who fear their Lord, 461 theirs shall 
be Gardens beneath which rivers flow. They shall abide therein— an entertain- 
ment 462 from their Lord, and what is with Allah 463 is still better 464 for the pious. 

199. (l^UusJV . . . J*) And among the people of the Book there are 
some who surely believe in Allah and in what has been sent down to you 466 and 
what has been sent down to them, 466 humbling themselves before Allah, 467 and 
they do not sell the revelations of Allah at a small price. 468 These ! they shall 
have their wage with Allah. 469 Verily Allah is Swift at reckoning. 470 

200. ( ^issdti . . . t^b) you who believe! persevere 471 and excel in 
perserverance 472 and be steadfast, 473 and fear Alfah, that haply you may thrive. 

452. The word 'woman' needed special mention in view of the sub-human 
status allotted to women in almost all ancient philosophies and religions. 

453. The phrase is parenthetical, meaning that man and woman are counter- 
parts to each other and of the same human status. Remember that this truth was 
proclaimed to the world not in the twentieth but in the sixth century of the 
Christian era. 

454. -—to name only one, and the most prominent, of such good works-—, 

.//A Surat-ul-lmran 297 

455. The allusion is to the companions of the holy Prophet, who in addition 
to their Faith, deep and sound, cheerfully underwent such hard ordeals as are 
mentioned in the text. 

456. i. e., out of His munificence. 

457. (into thinking that they are approved of God, O reader !). 

458. i.e., their journeyings for traffic; their seeking and enjoying the 
pleasures of this world. # 

459. (is this). 'This present world in comparison with the Hereafter is like 
one of you putting his finger in the sea, and let him see how much he brings out/ 
(The holy Prophet). 

460. (which the ungodly have prepared for themselves). 

461. (and have accepted Islam). 

462. (shall be this). 

463. (of His eternal bliss). 

464. (in quantity as well as in permanence than the ephemeral worldly 

465 .> (O Muslims!). 

466. i.e., the Torah and the Injil in their genuine and unadulterated state. 

467. Humility thus is the predominant feature of their character. 

468. i. e., do not corrupt their Books for the sake of some worldly gain. 

469. (immediately ; without having to wait). 

470. (and in recompensing). 

471. (in the face of troubles attending on acts of piety and the afflictions 
that may overtake you). ' 

472. (the enemies of God) i. *., outdo them in perseverance and endurance. 

473. (with your bodies to face the enemy, and with your souls to face the 
inner foe). 

298 Part, IV 


The Woman IV 474 

(Madinian— 24 Sections, 177 Verses) 
In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful. 

1. (l**S> . . . UjIj) ° y° u mankind ! fear Allah 476 Who created you 476 
of a single soul, 477 and He created from it 478 its mate, 479 and out of the twain 480 
He spread abroad manifold men and women. 481 And fear Allah 482 by Whom 483 
you importune one another 484 and the wQmbs. 488 Verely Allan is ever a 
Watcher 486 over you. 487 

2. (1^4.5 ... lyfL) And give to the orphans 488 their substance, 488 and 
do not substitute the bad for the good, 490 and do not devour their substance by 
adding it to your substance; 481 surely that 482 is a great crime. 483 

474. The chapter is so named for its main theme is the subjects concerning 
women, — their rights in general and laws of marriage, divorce, inheritance and 
dower in particular. 

475. i. e. 9 be ever vigilant in your duties towards Him, and do not disobey 
His laws. The word ^ is suggestive of His great solicitude for us, and implies 
that all His laws and ordinances are for our own good. 

476. (all) i, e. y entire mankind, irrespective of sex, rank, age, colour, race 
and nationality. This emphasizes the fact, so obvious and yet so often forgotten, 
that man is a being created, and therefore stands sharply marked off from his 
Creator, having nothing in common with Him, and is not joined with Him by a 
chain of 'heroes/ 'incarnations/ demi-gods' and the like. Also, evolution, or no 
evolution creation of man is the standing verity. 

IV. SUrat-ul-NisB 299 

477. (and are therefore children of a common ancestor) . The single soul 
referred to is Adam. The Qur'an here positively asserts the basic unity of mankind 
and repudiates the doctrine of polygenism ascribing multiple ancestry to mankind, 
and. incidentally also does away with the idea of 'castes' or. 'classes' as forming a 
Carrier to the common humanity. Contrast with this the Hindu conception that the 
.Brahman is a caste derived from the gods ; the Sudra is one derived from the 

Asuras, or demons/ (ERE. XI, p. 915). Also see P. XXIII n. 481 ; IX. h. 346. 

478. i. e. 9 from that single soul. 

479. L e., the first woman ; Eve, or Hawwa. This implies the essential 
equality of men and women as human beings. It was not in Islam, but in 
Christianity, to its eternal shame, that woman was considered 'an inferior, empty- 
headed moron; for several days in each month she was so unclean as to require 
secluding like a laper. The Council of Trent, in the sixteenth century, was dubious 
about her possessing a soul'. (Love, Marriage, Jealousy, ed. A. Forbath, p. 371) 
This council, let it be further noted, held from 13th December, 1545, to 4th 
December, 1563, was one of the greatest significance in the history of Roman 
Church. 'It would be hard to exaggerate the importance of the council of Trent' 
(C. D. p. 97). For the Jewish and Christian account of the creation of woman from 
Adam's rib see Ge. 2: 18, 21-25. 

480. i. e., the said pair; Adam and Eve. 'And Adam called his wife's 
name Eve ; because she was the mother of all living.' (Ge. 3 : 20). 

481. This clearly means that all mankind is descended from one original 
stock and from a single pair — a fact corroborated by modern anthropology. 
Naturalists believing in evolution 'will feel no doubt that all the races of men are 
descended from a single primitive stock.' (Darwin, Descent of Man, p.. 273). 

482. t. e. 9 beware of your duties towards Him. 

483. i. e., in Whose name. 

484. i. e., 'ye demand one of another your rights, or dues.' (LL) 

485. Or 'kinship.' The word has direct reference to the high status of 
motherhood and wifehood in Islam. Notice that the word is grammatically coupled 
with God. Kinship in Islam is regarded as one of the most important social 

486. As He is the Creator of all and Preserver of all, so is He Watcher 
over all alike. 

487. (and over your dealings with one another). 

488. (who happen to be in your charge). They were the children of those 
who had lost their lives in the wars for the cause of Islam. The property of these 
children was entrusted to the care of those who had agreed to become their 

489. (in full; when they come of age). 

490. i. e. y do not act in such a way as to transfer to your own account what 

300 PartIV 

you find of value in their effects and to substitute sontething worse for them. The 
property of these orphans was appropriated by the guardians,, by tending the good 
goats or camels of the orphan-wards along with their own herds, and then selecting 
the bad ones as the orphan's share. 

491. J| sometimes 'occurs in the sense of -^ , when a thing is joined to 
another thing/ (LL). f J\ also shows that one thing is added to another JUxJj) or 
(Z&JLxJJ an d hence we find it construed with ^]^ to increase, augment.' ( WGAL. II, 

P .' 145) i^ii t^x* f# v»" <*♦ \s y (IQ)v- 

492. i. *., this appropriation and manipulation of the orphans' property. 

493. 'One of the most commendable things which one finds in reading the 
Qpran is the solicitude which Muhammad shows for the young, and especially for 
such as have been deprived of their natural guardians. Again and again he insists 
upon a kind and just treatment being accorded to children. And working upon his 
words, the Muhammadan doctors have framed a system of rules concerning the 
appointment and duties of guardians which is most complete, and extending to the 
most minute detaili.' (Roberts, Social Laws of the Qpran, pp. 40-41)* 

IV. Surat-ul-Nisa 301 



Uteto&£ A jfeffifoffi ># ^f^g. .^sg ^:^o 

3. (l^*; . • • ^lj ) And if you apprehend 494 that you will not be able 
to deal justly 4 * 5 with the orphan-girls, then 496 marry of ot her women 497 such as 
please you, by two, or three, or four, 498 but if you apprehend 499 that you shall not 
be able to act equitably, 600 " then marry one on/y, 601 or what your right hands 
own, 502 fhat S03 will be more fit that you may not swerve. 504 

4. (U^» . . . \$] .) And give to women 606 their dowries 506 as a gift, 507 
and if they 508 abandon of themselves 609 aught of it 610 to you, then eat it in pleasure 
and profit. 511 

5. (tijj** ... ..I.) And do not give to the weak-witted 512 the pro- 
perty 513 which Allah has made for you a means of support^ 514 but feed them out 
of it, 515 and clothe them, and speak to them a word of kind advice. 516 . 

6 (t ^..^ - ... |^J ) And testihe orphans 517 till they attain the age 
of wedlock, 6 ^ 8 then 619 if you perceive in them a discretion, 520 hand over to. them 
their property 621 and do not consume it (extravagantly or hastily for fear that they 
may grow. 522 And whoso 523 is well-to-do, 524 let him abstain., 625 and whoso is 
needy let him take from it honourably. 526 And when you hand over their property 
to them 627 call in witnesses 528 in their presence and Allah suffices as a 
Reckoner. 529 

494. (even in a light degree, O Muslims!) 

495. (in regard to their dower and other conjugal rights helpless as they are 
and in your charge). ' 

496. (--instead of taking those orphan-girls in marriage--). 

497. 'Polygamy was the rule among the Eastern peoples before Mohammad's 
time/ (Roberts, op. cit., p. 8). 'When we see thousands of miserable women who 
crowd the streets of Western towns during the night, we must surely feel that it does 
not lie in Western mouth to reproach Islam for its polygamy. It is better for a 
women, happier for a woman, more respectable for a woman, to live in Mohammadan 
polygamy, united to one man only, with the legitimate child in her arms surrounded 
with respect than to be seduced, cast put in the streets— perhaps with an illegitimate 

302 Part IV 

child outside the pale of law— -unsheltered and unc^red for to become a victim of any 
passer-by, night after night, rendered incapable of motherhood, despised of all/ 
(Mrs. Annie Besant). - 

498. s. e.j the Muslim may marry of women such as are pleasing to him, two, 
three or four, but not more. See Appendix at the end of the Surah, 

499. (in an appreciable degree). 
500* (towards all wives). 

501. Monogamy is thus the ideal; and polygamy is only allowed as a 
safeguard against greater social evils. 'The often-quoted prescriptions for marriage 
limit rather than introduce the practice of polygamy/ 

502. s. *., the slave-girls you legally possess, who do not require so large a 
dower nor so plentiful a maintenance as free women do. 

503. i. e. 9 your remaining content with one wife or a slave-girl. 

504. (from the course of righteousness and virtue). 

505. (themselves, and not to their fathers and guardians), as was the custom 
in pre- Islamic days. 

506. rd** of a wife 'a dowry or nuptial gift' is, in Islamic law, either a 
sum of money or other form of property to which the wife becomes entitled by 
marriage. 'It is not a consideration proceeding from the husband for the contract 
of marriage, but it is an obligation imposed by the law on the husband as a mark of 
respect for the wife as is evident from the fact that the non-specification of dower at 
the time of marriage does not affect the validity of the marriage/ (Abdur Rahim, 
op. is/.; p. 334.) 'The payment of dower is enjoined by the law, merely as a token of 
respect for its object, the woman, wherefore the mention of it is not essential to the 
validity of a marriage/ (Hidaya). Thus it has no relation to the 'purchase-money/ 
of pre-Islamic Arabia, handed over not to the wedded girl, but to the father or 
brother or relative in whose guardianship she was. ■ * ■ 

507. s. e. 9 cheerfully and in good spirits. ZXaaJ & synonymous with /^Ug 9 
meaning as a free gift/ (IQ,). This once again emphasizes that rd^,* in Islam 
is not to be confused with the price of the bride or the purchase-money so customary 
in the ancient world. 'Marriage by consideration has prevailed in all branches of 
the Semitic race. In Babylonia a suitor had to give to the father of his intended 
wife a bride price or present. . . Among the ancient Arabs a bride price, a. mahr, was 
given by the bride-groom to the father or guardian of the bride. ... Wife purchase 
was the basis of Aryan marriage before the separation of peoples took place. In 
Vedic times brides were won by rich presents to their fathers . . . . Notwithstanding 
the prohibition in the Laws of Manu, marriage by purchase occurs to this day even 
among high castes, and is frequently practised among the Sudras/ (Westermarck, 
Short history of Marriage, pp. 166-169). 

508. *. *., the wives themselves, nor their parents or guardians. 

509. i. e. 9 without any pressure or undue influence from outside. 

IV. Suratul-Nis* 303 

510. (or the whole of it). 

511. i. e. y enjoy it with satisfaction and good conscience' (Bell). 'The 
Arabic idioni for the enjoyment of property being to eat it up, the sentence might be 
paraphrased "and if they are kind enough to remit any portion of it of their own 
accord, then enjdy it, and much good may it do to you." (LL) 

512. (even when they have attained to the age of majority, as they are 
likely to spend away their property wastefully). 

513. (which belongs to the orphan or orphans under your guardianship). 

514. (all). Property, as a means of support and sustenance, is a thing to 

be valued, and not to be lightly squandered.. The pronoun refers to property in 
general, and not to the particular property of an orphan. (Th). 

515. The property of a ward is to be managed in a way entirely beneficial 
to him, and in a way that the whole of it may not be consumed in poor-rate. 
Capital, for instance, may be invested in trading. (Th). 

516. (to the affect that this withholding of their property from them is in 
their own interest). 

517. (to find out, in the case of males, if they have intellect and capacity to 
judge and act for themselves, and, in the, case of females if they have ability to 
perform household duties). 

518. i. e., the age of majority, which, in the Hanafi school of Islamic law, 
is 18 years for. boys and 17 years for girls. 

519. i. £., after the ward has been so tested at the attainment of majority. 

520. *. *., maturity of intellect ; capacity to manage one's affairs. 

521. (unless they are found even at that age wanting, either by nature or by 
habit, in that discretion and judgment). *A person though not an idiot, may be so 
foolish by reason of weakness of intellect that his actions generally are not in accord 
with what reason or commonsense would dictate, so that he wastes his property by 
extravagance, and from incapacity to take care of it.' (Abdur Rahim, op.cit, 
p. 245). 

522. i. e., when you see them growing up rapidly to years of discretion, do 
not hasten to spend the orphans' inheritance, seeing it is soon to pass from your 
hands. Guardians are hereby warned against all forms of misappropriation and 

523. (of the guardians). 

524. t. *., is not in dire need of emoluments. 

525. (entirely from touching the orphans' estate). 

526. i . e. , no more than what will make sufficient recompense for his labour. 
Guardians, if needy, are thus allowed wages, but not on a luxurious, lavish scale. 

527. (on their attaining majority and discretion); 

528. — to make the transaction formally legal and to avoid future litigation — 

529. *. e. 9 a taker of accounts. This is to make it clear that the main thing 
is the guardian's purity of heart, his integrity, his fairness in dealings, and his 
innocence before the Omniscient God. Calling in of witnesses is only a formal 

' matter needed for the courts of law. 'Consequently among the Muhammedans the 
misappropriation of the estate of an orphan is regarded as one of the great sins, the 
number of which is generally reckoned to be seven.' (Roberts, op. cit. p. 42). 

304 Part IV 

7. (Li.)JU • . • JU^)Jj) T° males 630 shall be a portion of what their 
parents and other, relations may leave;* 31 and to females 532 shall be a portion of 
what their parents and other relations may leave 633 whether it be small or large; 634 
a portion allotted. 536 

8. (l> 5) *^ . . . lil •) And when those of kin are 536 present at the 
division 537 and the orphans and the needy, provide for them 538 put of it 639 and 640 
speak to them a word of kindness 541 

9- (f^j^M, . ; . ^sk^) .) And let them 542 beware who, should they leave 
behind them a weakly progeny, would be anxious on their account 648 let them 
therefore fear Allah 544 and speak 546 to them honourable words. 546 

10- (tj**" • • • iji'O Veri 'y those who devour the property of the orphans 
wrongfully, only devour fire into their bellies, and soon they shall roast in the 

530. (Whether minor or adult). 

531. (at their death). 

532. (whether minor or adult). 

533. (at their death). This means that womanhood or childhood— sex or 
infancy — shall be no bar to the inheritance as had been in the past not only in 
Arabia but in many parts of the ancient world. 'The importance of this reform/ 
says Wherry, 'cannot be over-rated. Previous to this women and helpless children 
might be disinherited by jhe adult male heirs, and thus be reduced to absolute 
peniiry/ for no fault but that of being widows and orphans/ 

534; And of this property women shall hot be dispossessed when entering on 
marriage, as was the law in many lands. Even in the much-vaunted Roman law, 
c the great majority of women became by marriage, as all women had originally 
become, the daughters of their husbands. The Family was based, less upon actual 
relationship than upon power, and the husband acquired over his wife the same 
despotic power which the father had oyer his children. There can be no question 
that, in strict pursuance of this conception of marriage, all the wife^s property passed 
at first absolutely to the husband, and became fused with the domain of the new 

IV. Surat-ul-Nisa .305 

family.- (Maine, Early History of Institutions, p. 312 : Murray). 

535. This Islamic law of inheritance is a land-mark in the history of legal 
and social reform. In pre-Islamic Arabia, women of all ages, and minor boys, had 
no share in their husbands* and in their fathers' inheritance, on- the principle that 
they alone had the right to inherit who could bear arms. Thus wives; daughters 
and sisters were excluded altogether, and so were minor sons and brothers* In 
Islam the cardinal principle of inheritance is to distribute the property among all 
near relatives, and not to have it centred in the hands of the eldest son— a wise and 
effective check on capitalism. 

536. i. e., relatives of distant and remote degrees, and therefore not legal 
heirs of the deceased. 

537. (of what is left). 

538. i. e. y for the three classes who are likely to be expecting something for 

539. fV *;,' out of the portion allotted to the adults. No charity is allowable 
out of the share of the minors. The injunction is only recommendatory, not 
obligatory. •"■■* :> _ ■__■_ 

540. (if the estate is too small to allow of free gifts). 
"541. (expressing your inability and regret). 

542. i.e., the heirs. 

543. (and be solicitous for them). Calling to mind the plight of their own 
orphan progeny, should they happen to -leave them, they should be considerate and 
solicitous for the right of other fatherless children. 

544. (and refrain from hurting the orphans in word. and deed). 

545. (to the orphans). 

546. (with a view to comfort them ; or, for their good). 

306 Part IV 

r.Cli!> ■• r'JMig} 


11'. (U^.<^ . . • mC^.j) Allah enjoins you in the matter of your 
children; 547 the male will have as much as the portion of two females, 548 but if 
they 549 be females 550 more than two, then they will have two-thirds of what he 
has left, and if only one, she will have a half, 551 and as for as his 55 - parents, each 
of the twain will have a sixth of what he tias left if he have a child; but if he has 
no child and his parents be his heirs, then his mother will have a third, but if he 
have brothers, then his mother will have a sixth; oil 553 after paying a bequest 5 - 54 
he may have bequethed or debt. 556 Your fathers and your sons 550 ' you do not 
know which of them is nigher to you in benefit: "van ordinance f/?/s 8 . 68 from 
Allah 559 Verily Allah is Knowing, Wise. 560 

547. i, *., concerning their inheriting property. 

Says Macnaughten, the author of Principles and Precedents of Mohammedan Law 
in his Preliminary Remarks : — 'In these provisions we find ample attention paid to 
the interest of all those whom nature places in the first rank of our affections : and 
indeed it is difficult to conceive any system containing rules more strictly just and 
equitable.- And Rumney, the annotator of Sirajiyya\ a Muslim book of the law of 
inheritance, observes : — 'The Mohammedan Law of Inheritance comprises beyond 
question the most refind and elaborate system of rules for the devolution of property - 
that is known to the civilised world/ (Mahmudullah, The Muslim Law of Inheritance, 
Preface, p. i : Allahabad, 1934). 

548. The underlying principle almost makes a new departure. Women and 
minor males were denied inheritance not only in the pagan Arabia but in the law of 
the Bible also, 'women appear to have been universally and in every respect regarded 
as minors so far as rights of property went .... Only sons, not daughters, still less 
wives, can inherit/ (EBi, cc. 2724, 2728). Then the inequality between the share 
of a son and that of a daughter in the law of Islam is more apparent than real. 
'The share of the daughter is determined not by any inferiority inherent in her but in 
view of her economic. opportunities, and the place she occupies in the social structure 

71/ Surat-ul Nisa 307 

of which she is a part and parcel ... While the daughter, according to Mohammedan 
law, is held to be full owner of the property given to her both by the father and the 
husband at the time of her marriage ; while, further, she absolutely owns her dower- 
money which may be prompt or deferred according to her own choice, and in lieu of 
which she can hold possession of the whole of her husband's property till payment, 
the responsibility of maintaining her throughout her life is wholly thrown on the 
husband/ (lqba.\ r Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, pp. 236-237). 

549. *. >., the heirs. 

550. (among the offspring of the deceased) i. *., daughters are the only 

551. (of the total estate) 

552. f. *., the legator's. 

553. (these shares and quotas) 

554. (recognized in law) i;e., not exceeding one-third of the total estate. 
«j^r- , in legal terminology, is a transfer of property to come into operation after the 
testator's death. 

555. (and also funeral expenses). Deduction of lawful bequests, debts and 
funerary expenses must, in all cases, precede the distribution of shares. 

556. (both of them so equally near related to you). 

557. i. e., in point of benefit which may be either of this world or of the 

558. (scheme of shares and quotas). 

559. (so that this allotment of shares is hot to be subjected to any human 

560. (so remembering His infinite Knowledge and Wisdom you need not 
tax your brain as to who should and who should not inherit your estate). 

308 Part IV 

-.t^y ' - . ■ ■ ■■ ■ , -vl^ 

ft %$<<}&* W*+£ j#£*i y, *t > %'§■ +&i v&M. J& c^ci 

■ -.-<• * ...... .'■''"'..■•■•'■' 

12. (>xl^ . . . ^J*) And you will have half of what your wives may 
leave, if they have no child: 561 but if they have a child then you will have a fourth 
of what they may leave, after paying a bequest they may have bequethed or a 
debt. And they 562 will have a fourth of what you may leave 563 if you have no 
child, but if you have a child then they wjjl have a eighth of what you may leave, 
after paying a bequest you may have bequethed or a debt. And if a man or a 
women who leaves the heritage has no direct heirs but has a brother or a sister, 
each of the twain will have a sixth; and if more than one, 564 then they 565 wilt have 
equal shares 566 in one-third after paying a bequest they may have bequethed or a 
debt without prejudice: 567 an ordinance this from Allah; 568 and Allah is Know- 
ing, 569 Forbearing. 570 

13. (**£wJt ; . cXD) These are the statutes of Allah, 571 and whoever 
obeys Allah and His messenger, 572 him He shall admit into the Gardens beneath 
which rivers flow, as abider therein; and that is an achievement mighty. 

14. ( .^ . •■'•■.*♦■$)■' And whoever disobeys Allah and His messenger, 
and transgresses His statutes, 573 him He shall cast into the Fire, as an abider 
therein, and to him shall be a torment ignominous. 

56.1. (either by yourselves or by your wives* former husbands). 

562. i.e., the wives. In this point at least, the Quranic legislation is 
acknowledged to be c in advance oP not only c the greatest number of barbarous 
societies* but also c the Bible/ For, it recognizes c the right of a widow to inherit 

from her husband The Bible was lass kind to the widow. . .It does not place 

her among her husbandVheirs. The Jewish widow was a charge on her children, 
or, if she had none, on her own family/ . (Letourneau, Evolution of Marriage, 
pp. 259-260). 

563. In the case of a plurality of wives that one-fourth will be equally 

564. (brothers and sisters) . 

565. i. e., brothers or sisters. 

IV. SUrat-ul-Nha 309 

566. This equality of shares between males and females is an exception to 
the general rule of giving a male twice as much as a female. 'Where/ notices a 
Christian writer on the Muslim law, 'a deceased man's parents, brothers and sisters 
are entitled to only a small share of the inheritance, that share is to be equal to all 
without distinction of sex/ (Roberts, op. cit. p. 66). 

567. (to the heirs, either in deed or in intention). 

568. (and therefore all these laws are to be implicitly obeyed). 

569. (so that 'He knows the obedient from the disobedient). 

570. (so that He does not punish the disobedient immediately). 

571. (and are therefore not to be taken lightly). Allotments here set forth, 
coming as they do from the Almighty, are not to be subjected to human interference. 

572. (complying with these commandments of His). 

573. (by denying these commandments altogether, or considering them of 
no binding value) . 

310 Part IV 

15. (L.^ . . . pJl 5 ) As for those of your women 574 who may commit 
whoredom, 675 call against them 576 four witnesses 577 from among you; 578 then if 
they testify, 579 confine them 580 to their bpuses, 581 till death completes their term 
of life, 562 or Allah appoints for them some other way. 583 

16. (u*a^)--'. • .-ill %) And as for those twain 58 * of you 583 who com- 
mit, it, hurt them both; 586 then, 587 if they repent 588 and amend 589 turn away from 
them, 590 surely Allah is Relenting, 591 Merciful. 592 

17. (L*<^ . . . Uj[) Upon Allah is the repentance of those 303 who do 
an evil 594 foolishly 595 and then repent speedily; 596 surely it is they to whom Allah 
shall relent. 697 And Allah is Knowing, 598 Wise. 599 

18. (UJ! .v . u^.wjJ 5 ) And repentance 600 is not for those who go on 
working evil 601 till death presents itself to one of them, 60 * and 603 he says : 'now I 
repent'; nor for those who die while they are infidels. These ! for them We have 
prepared a torment afflictive. 

574. (duly married) i e., wives. 

575. ZteJJ in its general significance is 'an excess ; an enormity ; anything 
exceeding the bounds of rectitude/ but when particularized, signifies 'adultery or 
fornication/ and, in the context, evidently means an act of adultery. 

576. The evidence in the case of adultery must be, according to the law of 
Islam, ocular, not hearsay or conjectural, known in modern legal phraseology as 
'circumstantial/ Every possible safeguard is taken against hasty and false accusations. 

577. Who must be males, adults (not children), freemen (not slaves) and 
of sound mind, 

578. The witnesses must be Muslims, not infidels. 

579. (assuring that they saw with their eyes the actual carnal conjunction) 

580. i. e., the adulterous wives. 

581. (by way of punishment). The address here is to those in. authority. 
among the believing community, and not to husbands or citizens in general. 

V. SUrat-ul-Nis* 311 

582. This was the penalty imposed in the beginning of Islam. 

583. (through His Apostle). This other punishment was later on ordained 
by the holy Prophet as follows :-— maidens to be scourged with a hundred stripes, 
and married women to be^stoned to death. 

584. (whether men or women, married or unmarried). The enactment here 
is general. It speaks of any two persons guilty of the act, in contradistinction to 
'married women' of -the previous verse. In several nations, as among the Greeks 
and in the earlier period of Roman history, there was no recognition of the offence 
of adultery, 'unless a married woman was the offender/ (EBr. I, p. 234). 

585. i. e. , from among the adult Muslims of sound mind . 

586. The form and the extent of 'hurt' (punishment), in each case,- are to 
be determined by those in authority. The enactment held good previous to the law 
revealed in surat un-Xur. 

587. i. e., after undergoing the punishment, and not without it. 

588. (and are contrite over the past). 

589. i. e., mend their ways for the future. 

590. i. e., persecute them and reproach them no further. This letting them 
alone is after their undergoing the punishment. No mere repentance however deep 
and sincere, can before an Islamic court of law do away with the punishment for an 
offence violating the rights of men, as distinct from the rights of God. 

591. (so that He has now accepted their repentance). 

592. (so that He has now forgiven them). 

593. i. e., of those alone He promises to accept the repentance. Repentance 
has for its elements : — 

(*) enlightenment of the heart, 
(«) detestation of the sin, 
(ill) a resolve to avoid it in the future, 
(iv) an earnest crying for God's forgiveness. 
It has both a negative and a positive aspect — a turning from sin, and a 
turning to God. A penitent must not be taunted with his past. In the ethics of 
Islam, the penitent is superior to the sinless. 

594. (whether capital or minor). 

595. Or 'ignorantly/ i. e., sins committed in a fit of passion : in a moment 
of forgetfulness ; without clear consciousness of guilt. 

596. (as soon as their guilt is brought home to them). 

597. (in forgiveness and mercy) 

598. (so He knows whose repentance is genuine and sincere). 

599. (so He decides itf accordance with His universal Plan, whose repen- 
tance is to be rejected). 

600. i. *., its acceptance by Him. 

601. (and having committed it once, never feel sorry for their sin). 

602. (and the Hereafter has begun to unfold itself before him). 

603. (at that moment; when on death-bed). 

19 - 0>*£* • WW) O you who believe ! it is not allowed to you that 
you may heir the women 604 forcibly, 605 nor shut them up 606 that you may 
take away from them part of what you had given them, 607 except when they are 
guilty of manifest indecency. 608 And live with them honourably; 609 if you dislike 
them, 610 perhaps you detest a thing and yet Allah has placed abundant good 611 
therein. 612 

20. (ijl^m . . . J.) And if y&u intend to replace a wife by another, and 
you have given 613 the one of them 614 a talent, 615 take not back anything of it. 616 
Would you take 'it back by slander and manifest sin. 617 

21. (lii^U . . . cJ*0 And how can you take back* 1 * when one of you 
has gonq in to the other, 610 and they 620 have obtained from you 621 a rigid bond. 622 

22. fou+M, . ..-. >•) And wed not of women those whom your fathers 623 
have wedded, 624 except what has already passed. 625 Verily that has been an 
indecency and an abomination and an evil way. 626 

604., (as you used to do in pre-Islamic days). In pagan Arabia, widows 
were divided amongst the heirs of a deceased as goods and chattels. Immediately 
after a man died, his son or heir would cast a sheet of cloth on each of the widows 
(except his own mother), and this signified that he had annexed them to himself. 
Nor was this treatment of the widows confined to Arabia. Even in Greco-Roman 
civilization, the married woman at Athens 'was part of the paternal patrimony/ 
and 'the dying husband could leave her by will to a friend, with his goods and by 
the same title/ and 'at Rome the wife was bought and subjected to the terrible 
right of the marital manus" (Letourneau, op. cit. p. 261). 'The widows . . . .were 
regarded as part of the estate, and as such passed ordinarily into the hands of their 
husbands' heirs/ (Roberts, op. cit. pp. 62-63). The heirs, in such cases, either 
married the widow to some one else and kept her dower, or refused to let her marry 
unless she redeemed herself by paying off handsomely, or else married her himself. 
One verse of the Qur'an was sufficient, as by one stroke, to sweep aside all such 
barbaric customs— a reform of truly revolutionary character. 

605. 'Forcibly' is a mere statement of fact, not a condition precedent. The 
practice of taking widows in heritage was actually carried on against their will. 

IV. SQrat-u/-Ws2 313 

There is no suggestion here that the practice would become any the more lawful if 
the widows submitted to it willingly. 

606. (in some part of the house so that they may not marry others) . 

607. Unscrupulous and covetous husbands, in the days of paganism, often 
used to harass their wives by imprisoning them in their houses for nothing, in order 
that they might be forced to claim separation and thus to relinquish their dower or 
their inheritance. This evil is here put a stop to. 

608. (such as doing harm to the person or property of the husband or his 
family). As the fault in such cases lies with the woman, so it is she who must 
relinquish her dower, whole or in part, to obtain separation. 

609. This is the basic principle, in Islam, of men's relation with their wives. 
Their faults and foibles are to be tolerated, overlooked, and an attitude of conside- 
rateness towards them is to be maintained. To view the same truth biologically : — 
'Woman will never be able to overcome these handicaps which are deeply rooted in 
her physical nature .... Anyone familiar with the physiology and biology of 
woman will be less annoyed and irritated at her sudden changes of mood, allegedly 
unreasonable flares of temper, her unmotivated acts. Understanding this, man will 
deeply sympathise with the bearers of the egg cells who, having the same aspirations 
and claims upon life,, are burdened with more difficult biological tasks/ (Nemilow, 
Biological Tragedy of Women, pp. 187-188). 

610. (for no wilful fault of theirs) . 

611. (material as well as spiritual). 

612. Insistence upon justice, goodwill and fair treatment of the wife will 
thus be found to be the essence of the matrimonial code of Islam. 'The law of 
Islam concerns itself with the happiness and well-being of the wife in a way in which 
no Christian country does/ 

613. (either in payment of dower, or as free gift) 

614. i. e. y the first of them. 

615. i. e.> any good sum, be it ever so big. 

616. (nor force her to relinquish it, whole or in part, in your favour). 

617. *. e., by giving out a false report of immorality, in order to escape the 
necessity of forfeiting the dowry. The. pagan husband, when he desired to replace 
his old wife by a new one, was wont to accuse the former, falsely and maliciously, 
of some gross immorality, and thus forced her to obtain a divorce by parting with a 
large sum of her money. .XXjj * s * a ^ a ^ se accusation* of adultery against a woman/ 

618. i. e. 9 what justification, in law and in morality, have you for Withhold- 
ing from them the money you owe them or for taking it back from them after you 
have paid it to them ? 

619. i. e., after the consummation, either actual or presumed, of marriage; 
Consummation is presumed when the pair have been together under circumstances 
»that may give rise validly to the inference, and is technically known as 'valid 

314 Part IV 


620. t. e. y the wives. ^ 

621. i. e r , the husbands. 

622. (of paying them their dower- money). This is an additional argument. - 
How can you go back upou your word ? Note that this has been the law of Islam 
for 1400 years— centuries before the West could hear of a Married Woman's 
Property Act! 

623. (or grandfathers). 

624. Widows in pagan Arabia, along with the estate of the deceased, passed 
on to the eldest son, and he very often married any of them he liked. See "nn. 
604, 605 above. 

625. i. e. 9 worry not about the past, be on your/guard in the future, 

626. (morally and spiritually). 

IV. SUrat-ul-Nisdi 315 


23. (u*£o •■• • ^<*f±) Forbidden 627 to you are your mothers 628 and your 
daughters 620 and your sisters 6310 and your father's sisters 631 and your mother's 
sisters, 632 and your brother's daughters 633 and your sister's daughters, 634 and your 
foster mothers 635 and your foster sisters, 636 and the mothers of your wives 637 and 
your step-daughters 638 that are your wards, 639 born of your wives to whom you 
have gone in, but if you have not gone in to them, no sin shall be on you, 640 and 
the wives of your sons 641 that are from your own loins, 642 and also that you should 
have two sisters together, 643 except what has already passed. 644 Verily Allah is 
ever Forgiving, Merciful. 

627. (-as wives). So marriage with them would be not only sinful but also 
illegal— null and void ab initio— Creating in fact, as in law, no civil rights and 
obligations whatsoever. 

628. (and all their ascendants). The grounds of permanent prohibition are 
three : — consanguinity, affinity and fosterage. 'By reason of consanguinity a man 
cannot marry any female ascendant or descendant of his* or the daughter of any 
ascendant, how high soever or of any descendant how low soever, or the daughter of 
his brother or sister or the daughter, of a brother's or sister's daughter, and so on. 
On the ground of affinity he is debarred from marring a woman who has been the 
wife of any ascendant of his, any ascendant or descendant of the wife if marriage 
has been consummated, or of any woman with whom he has had unlawful connection 
and any woman who has been the wife of his son or grandson. Generally speaking 
fosterage induces the same limits of relationship prohibitive of marriage as consan- 
guinity. ' (Abdur Rahim, op. cit. p. 329). 

629. (and all their descendants). 

630. (whether from the same parents or not) . 

631. (as also all sisters of paternal ascendants) . 

632. (as also all sisters of maternal ascendants). 

633. (and all brother's descendants). 

634. (and all sister's descendants) . 

316 Part IV 

635. i. #., those women who have suckled you. So the tie of milk is as much 
a bar to marriage as the tie of blood. 

636. t. e. y sisters by fosterage, whether it is their mothers who have suckled 
you or it is your mothers who have suckled them. 

637. (and all the female ascendants of your wives). 

638. (and all the female descendants of your wives). 

639. (as is usually, though not invariably, the case) . 

640. f. e.y step-daughters born of such wives are not forbidden. 

641 . (as also the wives of all your male descendants) . 

642. (and not your sons by adoption). 

643. 'Sisters' here includes foster-sisters. 

644. i. e. t what took place in the days of paganism, previous to the revelation 
of the Qur'an, would be forgiven. 

IV. Suratul-Nis* 317 


24. (L^ ^UmJ^) And 1 a/so forbidden are the wedded 

among womfen 2 save those whom your right hands possess: 8 Allah's ordinance 
for you. And allowed to you is whosoever is beyond that 4 so that you may seek 
th6m with your riches, 6 as properly wedded men, 6 not as fornicators.' And for 
the enjoyment 8 you have received from them, give them their do w res stipulated. 9 
And there will be ho blame on you in regard to aught 10 on which you 11 mutually 
agree after the stipulation. 12 Verily Allah is Knowing, 13 Wise. 14 

1. The conjunction couples this verse with the words ^forbidden unto you * 
are* in the preceding verse. 

2. This repudiates the extreme communist doctrine that, within the 
community, every woman may be the wife of every man, and any man could 
cohabit with any woman, as also the custom in many sevage tribes of lending and 
exchanging wives. 'The custom of lending wives is wellnigh universal among 
savages' (ERE. I, p. 125), though for different reasons. Westermarck frequently 
refers to 'the custom of lending wives being found among many peoples in different 
parts of the world/ (Short History of Marriage, p. 14) ^^ originally signifies a 
fortress, and m,t3Uassu means, in the first instance, only 'women who are fortified or 
fenced in.' eAJLasaJl, * n tne context, signifies married women, or women having 
husbands. The word strongly suggests the idea of chastity and purity* 

3. (as slaves). fXSl^j] u^.<JUU literally 'those whom your right hands 
possess/ signifies in the context, 'such married women as shall come in your posses- 
sion as prisoners of war/ — war being the chief source of the acquisition of slaves, 
male and female. Such women, when not taken back on payment of ransom or 
otherwise, are to be lawful as wives, even though their previous marriage has not 
been formally dissolved, — religious warfare in itself being sufficient to sever previous 
ties. According to the Hanaf I school of law it is not lawful to take such women as 

318 Part V 

wives whose husbands alsp are captured, or are j[n slavery with them. A bondwoman 
must at the time of her capture be an uribe^fv^n ^T^i^h the creation of the 
status of slavery in, a public rights once it has been brought about, it becornes 
transmitted into a private right in the nature of property. Hence though a Muslim 
cannot be made a slave, yet if an infidel slave becomes Muslim, he still remains a 
slave, for otherwise the proprietary rights of the master would be affected/ ('Abdur 
Rahim, op. cit. 9 p. 246). See also P. IV. m. 502 ; P. XVIII, n. 8. 

4. i. e., all other women as wives. 

5. i. e. 9 by paying them their dower-money. 

6. i. e., as those who take their wives in marriage in its proper legal form, 
with at least two witnesses to attest, and with intent to permanent companionship. 
The institution of marriage sanctions sexual relationship between a man and wife for 
the propagation of the human species and for the promotion of love and union 
between the. parties. Sanctity of marriage is one of the leading features of Islamic 

.7. This rules out as un-Islamig all forms of temporary and 'companionate* 
marriages where lust is the sole motive. 'Real satisfaction/ says an American 
observer, /comes not from mere sexual experience but from a relationship which is 
lasting and continuous and which is built on feelings of affection, devotion and 
tenderness/. (Pollens, *The Sex Criminal', p, 196). 

8. (as your wives). 

9. Any sum can be stipulated as dower, although it is always desirable to 
keep it within reasonable bounds. 'She or her guardians may stipulate at the time 
of marriage for any sum, however large, as dower. If no sum has been specified, 
she is entitled to her proper dower lj^ ^ A that is the dower which is customarily 
fixed for the females of her family/ ('Abdur Rahim, op. «/., p. 334). ^ when 
used in its plural form .y^] and with reference to wives, is not /recompense* or 
'hire*, but 'A dowry, or nuptial gift; a gift that is given to, or for, a bride/ (LL). 

10. i.e., any change in the amount of the doWer-money. 
11; i.e.* the husband and the wife. 

12. (by either increasing the sum or relinquishing it in part or in full). 
i3. (so He knows well your inmost feelings and varying circumstances). 
14/ (so He enacts laws according to your needs and requirements). / 

IV. Surat-ul-Nisa 319 


25. (^.W) . .:. ^ ) And he among you/who has hot the affluence so 
that he may wed believing free women, 15 let h mi wed such of the believing 
handmaid 16 as the right hands of you people 11 posses. And Allah knows well 
your belief, 18 the one of you 19 is as the other. 2a/ You may wed them, 21 then, with 
the consent of their owners, 22 and give them* 3 their dowers as properly** wedded 
women, 25 not as fornicatresses, nor as takmg to themselves secret paramours. 26 
And when they have been wedded, if they «ommit an indecency, 27 on them 28 the 
punishment shall he a half of that for free wedded/women. 29 This 80 is for him 
among you, who fears perdition; 31 anchthat you should abstain 32 is better for you. 83 
And Allah is Forgiving, 34 Merciful. 36 


26. IpxtL . . . 'Sjyj) Allah desires to expdund to you 36 and to guide you 
into the institutions of those before you 37 and relent towards you. And Allah is 
Knowing, Wise 

27. -^Ljtke . . : xJLM^) And Allah desires 33 to relent towards you, and 
those who follow their lusts 39 desire that you shall 40 incline 41 a mighty inclining. 

28. (isLxxJi . . . sjjj) Allah desires that He shall lighten things for 
you, 42 and 43 man has been created a weakling. 44 

.29.- ''(Uj^ . . . -U j», j) you who believe! devour not your property 
among yourselves 45 unlawfully, but let there be p. trading among you by mutual 
agreement; 46 and kill not yourselves. 47 Verily Allah is to you ever Merciful. 48 

15. (who required considerable sum of moriey for the payment of her 
dower as well as her support and maintenance). . 'She is entitled to be provided 
with proper ' accommodation separate from the husband's relations and to be main- 
tained in a way suitable to his own means and the position in the life of both. If 
he refuses or neglects to maintain her she can pledge his credit . .... , She is' further 
entitled, to the payment of her dower/ ( c Abdur Rahlrri, o. p. ciL> p. 334). 

16. (whose dower- money and upkeep would naturally cost much less). 

320 Part V 

17. i.e., the Muslim community. 

18. (which is the only test of merit; with Him) i.e.. He alone knows whose 
faith is great and strong, and whose is little and weak. So that it is easly conceiv- 
able that a bondwoman might be more honourable with her Lord than her free 
husband. This implies as exhortation against holding bondsmen and bondswomen 
in contempt. 

19. —whether free-born or slaves. 

20. i.e., you as Muslims belong to the same honourable community, and as 
human beings have sprung from the common progenitor. Why, then, should a 
free-born among you fear any loss of dignity in taking a bondwoman as his wife ? 
Here is another little neat sermon on the equality of the free-born and the slave in 
Islam. - 

21. i.e., the Muslim bondswomen. 

22. (who have proprietary rights in them) . 

23. i.e., the handmaids themselves ; as understood by Imam Malik; or, the 
owners of these handmaids, as interpreted, through an implied word \^\ y by other 

24. Mark the implication of the word. The dower is to be paid to hand- 
maids as to the wives, in the prescribed, legal, honourable way, not as hire to the 
whores and harlots. 

25. Notice the high ideal of chastity and purity pervading the entire system 
of these enactments. 

26. As was customary with bondswomen in pre-Islamic Arabia. 

27. Which here signifies an act of fornication or incontinence. 

28. Who have not the same advantages of sound education, good up- 
bringing, etc., as the respectable free women enjoy, and are therefore not subject 
to the same (degree of responsibility. The corruptions of life under which a slave 
has to work| and live makes it plain that, while purity is always hard to attain, 
slavery make^ it far more difficult. 

29. Which means that the guilty slave-wife shall receive 50 stripes. 

30. i.e., this permission to marry slave- girls. 

31.. (in consequence of fornication), i.e., who for want of a respectable 
free-born wife fears to fall into the sin of adultery and is anxious to avoid it. 

32. (altogether, and practise self-restraint) . 

33. As it obviously is from the stand-point of good breeding and preservation 
of high descent. 

34. (so that in any case and circumstance He overlooks and foregives your 
marrying a slave-girl). 

35. (so that He has not forbidden such alliances). 

36. (His ordinances for your benefit) . 

37. (by recounting their tales, in order that you may be both warned and 

V. Surat-ul-Nis5 321 


38. (by the ordinances of the Holy Qur^an as well as by its narratives). 

39. i»e.> the infidels. 

40. (like themselves). 

41. (from the right path). 

42. (your burden). He seeks not only to confer benefits on man but also to 
make light his burden. 

43. i.e., for; because. 

44. i.e., subject to be inclined by desire; unable, if left to himself and 
unaided by Divine guidance, to avoid pitfalls. So Providence, in His infinite 
mercy and wisdom, has chalked out a way for him, safe, straight and free from 

45. i.e., do not consume one another's property. Every believer's property 
is his own. Islam totally rejects the communistic doctrine of the state ownership of 
all property. 

46. Trade, in the code of Islam, thus receives not only full permission but 
alsp approval and merit. 

47. This interdicts suicide in all its forms, and has led a famous Christian 
writer to observe : — 'Suicide, which is never expressly condemned in the Bible, is 
more than once forbidden in the Koran/ (Lecky, History of European Morals, II, 
London, 1869, p. 56/\ ^jj] may also be takenin a collective sense. The rendering 
in that case would be : 'And slay riot one another/ This would make the life of a 
believer as intrinsically inviolable as has been made his property in the preceding 
part of the verse. 

48. (and so He promulgates laws and ordinances so beneficial to mankind). 

322 Part V 

f ztf . ' —m®; 

30. (l^^uwj . . . .,♦ •) And whoever does that 49 in transgression 50 and 
wrong, 51 him We will soon 52 roast in Fire, and with Allah that is ever easy. 

31. (Uj>5 . . . .J) !f. : ypu shun the grievous sins from which you have 
been prohibited, We will expiate from you your misdeeds, 53 and make you enter 
a noble Entrance. 

32. (L*JU . . . 1 ,) And do not covet 54 that 55 wherewith Allah has 
excelled 56 one of you 57 above another. 58 To men 59 shall be the portion 60 of what 
they earn, 61 and to women 62 shall be the portion 63 of what they earn. 64 And 65 
ask Allah for some of His grace 66 Verily Allah is Knower of everything^ 67 

33. (U^ . . . X .JXJ,') And to everyone We jtiave appointed inheritors 68 
of what the parents or relations leave behind, 69 and to them 70 with whom you 
have made your pledges 71 give them their portion. 72 Verily Allah is ever a 
Witness over everything. 

49. i.e., commits murder or suicide. 

50. i.e., overstepping the bonds of the law ; without justification. 

51. i.e., with deliberate criminal intent; not through an error of 

'52. i.e., at his death. 

53. i.e., minor offences. 

54. (O men and women !) 

55. i.e., the inborn excellence implanted by nature, not that which can be 
acquired. . 

56. (without any exertion on your part). This explodes the myth of the 
absolute equality of mankind. Some classes of mankind are surely privileged with 
superior brain or superior physical strength. 

57. i.e., the male sex. 

58. i.e., the female sex. That in the scheme of life the role of the male is 
different in many fundamentals from that of the female is recognised by the modern 
sciences of Biology and Psychology alike. 'The desires and conduct of the two sexes 

IV. SUrar-ul Nisa 323 

are not similar, but are complementary and reciprocal. In courtship the male is 
active; his role is to court, to pursue, to possess, to control, to protect, to love. 
The role of the female is passive . . . . Consequent on this fundamental difference are 
certain others. For pursuit, greater ardour is necessary than for mere reception; 
and the courting activity of the male is, throughout the whole animal kingdom, 
more ardent than that of the female ; and this greater ardour is connected with 
certain other differences/ (Mercier, Conduct and its Disorders Biologically Considered, 
pp. 289-290). 'We have* seen that a deep difference in constitution expresses itself 
in the distinctions between male and female, whether these be physical or mental/ 
(Thompson and Geddes, Evolution of Sex, p. 286). . ' It is generally true that the 
males are more active, energetic, eager, passionate, and variable : the females more 
passive, conservative, sluggish, and stable/ (p. 289). 'Man perhaps even down to 
the protein molecules of his tissue cells, is biologically different from woman. From 
the very moment of sex formation in the embryo, the biological dusting of the sexes 
develops along entirely divergent paths . . . . We must recognize the unquestionable 
existence of the. biological inequality of the sexes. It goes deeper and is of far 
greater import than it would appear to those not familiar with natural science.* 
(Nemilov, Biological Tragedy of Women, pp. 76-78). 'Will it be possible for woman's 
emancipation to remove those differences between man and woman which are 
rooted in their innermost beings? Even the most rabid advocates of woman's rights 
must accept the undeniable fact that woman bears children, riot man ; that woman 
menstruates, not man. It remains equally true that these primitive functions will 
always be a hindrance to complete emancipation, though they do not preclude 
advance and improvement in the intellectual and social position of women, which 
every fair-minded man willingly recognises as necessary .... According to Mrs. 
Hawthorne, home is the woman's great arena, and will, she hopes, remain so. 
There she can exercise a sway that no king or emperor can rival. And it is com- 
patible with culture, intellect and earnestness. I should like to cry aloud to the 
modern woman: Educate yourself ; dedicate your time to science; take part in the 
thoughts and occupations of men, but do not seek to do so as he does. For you will 
never be his equal, even as he never will be your equal/ (Bloch, Sexual Life in 
England, pp. 48-49). 'I venture to prophesy not only that the inherent differences 
between the sexes will not tend to diminish in the course of evolution but that man 
will continue, as now and in the past, to emphasise them by custom and convention/ 
(Julian rjuxley, Essays in Popular Science, p. 63). 

59. (however, in spite of their physical and mental superiority). 

60. (in the Hereafter). 

61. (through their moral acts), i. e., in matters spiritual men as such can 
have no advantage over women. 

62. .(despite the terrible natural handicap they suffer from). 

63. (in the Hereafter). 

324 Part V 

64. (through their moral acts). The purport is: in spite, of many and 
varied differences between men and women in their physical and mental make-up, 
in matters of spiritual grace and in acts leading to moral perfection, there is no 
disparity at all between the two sexes. In God's sight as responsible moral agents 
both are equal. 

65. (if you are keen on acquiring merit in His sight.) 

66. (in matters of your moral perfection and spiritual development, instead 
of longing for absolute equality in physical and mental equipment), 

67. (and He shall judge and requite each one of His creatures according to 
his or her merit). 

68. i. e., legal heirs, blood relations ; not heirs by compact. The Arabs 
used to enter into a contract that, on the death of one of them, the surviving party 
to the contract would be a heir to the deceased. The verse rules out all such heirs. 

69. In pre-Islamic Arabia, succession was either by blood relationship or by 
adoption, or by compact. This last system, which was allowed by the holy Prophet 
in Madlna for some time, is hereby annulled, and is replaced by the system of 
blood relationship. . 

70. i. e. 9 persons not your legal heirs. 

71. (for a share of inheritance). 'The nexc class of heirs in the order of 
succession are gj'J^JV j** or successor by contract, that is, a person with whom the 
deceased entered into a contract that he would be his heir, such person undertaking 
on his part to pay any fine or compensation to which the deceased might become 
liable/ (Abdiir Rahim, <>/>. dt. 9 p. 349). 

72. (which is fixed as one-sixth of the total estate). 

IV. SDrat-uhWsa _^__ 325 


34. ()o^5 • . . ii^ji) Men ^re overseers over women, 73 by reason of 
that wherewith Allah has made one of them 7 * excel 75 over another, 76 and by 
reason of what they 77 spend of their riches. 78 So 7 * the righteous women are 
obedient 80 and watchers* 1 in husbands' absence by the aid and protection of 
Allah. 82 And those wives whose refractoriness you fear, 83 admonish them 84 and 85 
avoid them in beds and 86 beat them; 87 but if they obey you, 88 do not seek a way 
against them. 89 Verily Allah is ever Lofty, Grand. 90 

35. (I^ajL ... ^1 5 ) And if you 91 fear a break 92 between the pair, 93 set 
up 94 an arbiter from his family and an arbiter from her family; then if the pair 95 
seek amity 98 Allah shall bring harmony between the two. 97 Verily Allah is ever 
Knowing, Aware. 98 

36. (t)^ki'. . . I}***!')) And. worship Allah, and do not join aught 99 
with Him: 100 and to parents show 101 kindness and also to kinsmen and orphans 
and the needy and the near neighbour and the distant neighbour and the compa- 
nion by your side 102 and the wayfarer and those whom your right hands possess 103 
Verily Allah does not love the vainglorious 104 and the boastful 105 — 

73. Compare the attitude of the Bible towards woman : — 'Unto the woman 
he said ... thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee/ 
(Gr. 3 : 16) 'Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 
For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: 
and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, 
so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing/ (Eph. 5 : 22-24). A A£ 
is, in the parlance of modern sociology, a protector or guardian of the family, and 
this is a position to which man is by his very nature and constitution entitled. *A 
connected result of male superiority in strength, activity and courage is the element 
of protection in 'male love, and of trust on the side of the female/ (ERE. VIII, 
p. 156). 'That the functions of the husband and father in the family are not 

326 Pari V 

merely of the sexual and procreative kind, but involve the duties of .supporting and 
protecting the wife and children, is testified by an array of facts relating to peoples in 
all quarters of the world and in all stages of civilisation/ (Westermarck, op cil. y 
■'p. 23). ( Among the lowest savages, as well as the most civilised races of men, we 
find the family consisting of parents and children, and the father as its protector and 
supporter/ (p. 7) 'Until recently women were typically engaged throughout youth 
and maturity in conceiving, bearing, feeding, nursing, transporting and burying 
infants. From girlhood, women were attached to infants. The period of gestation 
for a human infant is long. Once born, it must ba carried upon the back and fed 
from the breast for a long time, under primitive conditions. Its birth cp^iututes ah 
ordeal for the mother, in the course of which she may be crippled, at least for 
enough days to suffice for starvation unless ministered to by others . . . How to 
master the uncertain food supply, ravenous wild beasts, hostile tribes, storms and 
cold is a hard puzzle for a creature carrying heavy children within and upon her 
body, year in and year out. There is, nevertheless, a way to open this hard cage, 
that will lead to sustenance and shelter without sacrifice of the child. This way 
is to get the protection of those who are not cumbered with burdensome generative 
systems. Thus if men could be induced to supply subsistence women could live with- 
out killing or abandoning their infants. At the same time, men were motivated by sex 
attraction, by the luxury of having routine labours performed for them, and doubt- 
less by. pity, to undertake the protection of women and of the helpless offspring to 
which they were mysteriously subject. Thus men, women and children came to be 
arranged in family groups, in which men were inevitably lords and masters, because 
they needed the arrangement least/ (EBr. IX, p. 61). In the words of the German 
philosopher, E. Von Hartmann, from the moral standpoint, "the greater number 
of women pass the whole of their lives in a state of minority, and, therefore, to the 
end stand in need of supervision and guidance" (quoted in Kisch's Sexual Life of 
Woman, p. 153). In the beautiful summing up of D. H. Lawrence, 'Primarily and 
unprimarily, man is always the pioneer of life, adventuring onward into the 
unknown, alone with his temerarious, dauntless soul. Woman for him exists only 
in the twilight by the campfire when day has departed' (quoted in Reader's 
Maxim Currents in Modern Science, p. 192). And according to a modern French 
writer and thinker :■ — 'Women can direct great business enterprises, and some do 
with astonishing skill, but the role does not suit them. One of the most successful of 
these made the following admission : "Do you know that I've always wanted to find 
a man who could take over my job ? Then I would be his assistant, and what a 
marvellous assistant I could be if I loved him !'' c It must be recognized that women 
are excellent assistants rather than original creators. Woman's real creation is her 
child . . . Even those who are forced by circumstances to play men's roles play them 
as women. Queen Victoria was not a great king, but a great queen acting the 
king/ (Andre MauroiSj Art of Living, pp. 49-50). 

IV. SOrat-ul-Nh& 327 

74. i. e. t the male sex. 

75. (by their very nature and .constitution). 

76. i. e., the female sex. The very word 'woman', in English, 'etymologi- 
cally meaning a wife . . . sums up a long history of dependence and subordination, 
from which the women of today have only gradually emancipated themselves in 
Such parts of the world as come under Western civilization/ (EBR. XXVIII, 
p. 782, 1.1th Ed.). The word alludes to 'qualities attributed to the female sex, as 
mutability, proneness to tears, or physical weakness; also to their position of inferio- 
rity or subjection/ (SOED. II p. 2443). 

77. f.^;, the husband. 

78. (for the support and maintenance of their wives and as their dower). 

79. ..i.e; 9 as recognizing the obvious truths of nature. 
" 80. (to their husbands). 

81. (of the honour and property of their husbands). 

82. To mark its special merit, this act of obedience and watchfulness on the 
part of women is ascribed to the grace of God. ^ 

* 83. This evidently refers to another class of wives, entirely different from 

the first, evil-natured and given to misbehaviour, 

84. (in the first place). . 

85. as the next step, if exhortation and verbal warning have proved 

86. as the last resoit; in stubborn cases, after milder methods have failed. 

87. The fact must not be lost sight of that the Holy Word is addressed to 
peoples of all ages and of all grades and stages of social evolution ; and it may well be that 
a remedy that is unthinkable in a particular grade of society is the only feasible and 
effective corrective in another. Beating is not after all so incompatible with law and 
considerateness as it appears at first sight. Among the natives of New Mexico 'women 
have to prepare the food, tan the skins, cultivate the ground, fabricate the clothes, 
build the houses, and groom the horses. In return for this, the men, whose sole 
occupations are hunting and war, beat their wives without pity/ (Letourneau op cit. y 
p. 132). Among peoples of a lower class of culture the subjection of woman is 
extended even to brutality. This flagrant proof of dependence is felt by woman 
even with sexual pleasure and accepted as a token of love/ (Kaaft-Eling, Psyckbpa- 
thia Sexualis, p. 211). In certain stages of society this beating is even sought and 
keenly desired. European critics, before venturing to ridicule this Quranic, 
permission (not recommendation), would do well to ponder over the prevalence of 
flageliomania in their own countries. Though 'a specifically English abuse it was 
widespread among all ranks and ages, it formed one of the most interesting features of 
their sexual life/ It is equally true that 'flogging, beating and whipping have been 
practised as punishment everywhere in the world since the dawn of history,, both 
among the civilised and the savage/ (Bloch, Sexual Life in England p. 320). 

328 PartV 

'England was at one time the classic land of flagellation/ (ib.) 'The spread of 
ilagellation-mania among people of every rank and age in English society affords 
further evidence that it was a specific national quality and not a passion limited to 
a small circle of sensualists and the like/ (ib., p. 322). For the sexual aspect of 
flagellation see Groft's The Cloven Hoof, (pp. 95, 96). "Nietzsche's famous saying 
is well-known :— "When you go to a woman forget not your whip/' In the Slavic 
countries beating the woman is a part of man's regular love procedure. Benvenuto 
CalHni reports a particular instance in his famous autobiographic memoirs : (Forbath, 
' Love, Marriage, Jealousy, pp. 192-193). 'Among the Slavs of the lower class the 
wives feel hurt if they are not beaten by their husbands ; the peasant women in some 
parts of Hungary do not think they are loved by their husbands until they have 
received the first box on the ear ; among the Italian community a wife if not beaten 
by her husband regards him as a fool/ (Havelock Ellis, quoted in ERE. VIII, 
p. 156). Even now in England working-class women receive thrashing by their men 
who 'generally make excellent husbands/ (Ludovici, Woman^ p. 154* n). 'The 
Englishman's privilege of beating his wife with a stick not thicker than his thumb, 
has become rather favourite, Cf. Sinclair, Sylvia's Marriage/ j>. 13. Further, it is 
contended by Freud and his disciples that masochism is part and parcel of feminine 
nature. 'Helene Dentach has elaborated Freud's assumption and generalized it in 
calling masochism the elemental power in feminine mental life. She contends that 
what woman ultimately wants in intercourse is to be raped and violated, what she 
wants in mental life is to be humiliated; menstruation is significant to woman 
because it feeds masochistic fantasies ; childbirth represents the climax of masochis- 
tic satisfaction/ (Horney, New Ways in Psychoanalysis, p. 110). 

88. i. *., submit to you and mend their ways. 

89. i.e., do not seek excuses and pretences for harassing and* ill-treating 

90. (so think of your own duties towards your Creator, and do not be too 
exacting towards your wives). 

91. The address here is to the Muslim community in general. 

92. (which cannot be made up by the parties themselves). 

93. i. e., the husband and the wife. 

94. (in order that the differences may be composed). 

95. i. e., two arbitrators. 

96. (and are earnest and sincere in their mission of peace). 

97. *. e., the husband and the wife. 

98. i. e., well Aware of their inmost thoughts and feelings. 

99. (in worship and adoration). 

100. (either in His Person or in His Attributes) . 

101. 'In fact, in almost every group of legislative revelations a place is given 
to the respect due to parents. 'The greatest importance is attached in the Qpran to 

IV. Sdrat-ul-Nisa 329 

filial piety/ (Roberts, op. ciL, pp. 46, 48). 

102. i. e., the travelling companion; the companion in a journey, no matter 
what the duration of that companionship be. 

103. Ncte that all these injunctions to be good and kind to one's fellow- 
beings are coupled with the duty to worship the one true God and to shun idolatry. 

104. i. e. } proud in his heart. 

105. i. e., vain with his tongue. 

330 Part V 

37. (U*^ . . . ^jjJt)- Those who are miserly and bid people to miser 
liness, and conceal what Allah has granted them of His grace; 106 and We have 
prepared for the infidels 107 a torment igriominous: 

38. (Ujvj '. • ♦jjiiK) And those who spend of their wealth to show 
off to men, 108 and do not believe in Allah nor in the Last Day; and whoso has 
for him Satan 109 as a companion/ a vile'companion has he. 

39. (L^JU . .''.. i£U' 9 ) Anc * what harm would befall them were they to 
believe in Allah and the Last Day and spend out of that wherewith Allah has 
provided them ? And Allah is ever Knower of them. 110 

.40. (L^k*-. . • .!)' Surely Allah does not wrong any one a .grain's 
weight, 111 and if there is a virtue He will double it and give from His presence a 
mighty .wage. 112 

41. (i«x**& • . •■ lJjuC3) How will it be then, when We bring, out of 
each community., a witness, 113 and We will bring thee 114 against these 115 as a 

106. (either in the form of wealth or in that of Divine knowledge such as 
the Jews were endowed with). 

107. The word #y jyj£ h ere ma Y a l so ^ e taken in its original meaning, 'the 
ungrateful* i. e. 9 unresponsive to the many Divine favours conferred on mankind. 

108. The sentence is coupled with 'Allah loveth not one who is vainglorious, 
boaster* in verse 36. 

109. (the arch-seducer). 

110. i. e., of their virtues and misdeeds. 

111. (by either punishing an innocent person, or by not rewarding in 
full any good action). God being ex hypothesi the sole Author and absolute Master 
of every being, subject to no superior will of higher law, no action of His can, in 
any conceivable circumstance, be unjust or iniqutious. What is meant to convey 
here is that even according to the human standard of justice, His judgments are 
never unjust *)S JUJU signifies the smallest measure. ^ 

1 12. So transparently Benign and so infinitely Merciful is He ! 

113. (to bear testimony to the rejection of His message by them). This 
witness would, in each case, be the prophet sent to the particular people. 

114. (O Prophet!) 

115. (people who are thy contemporaries). 

/. $0rat-u/-rtis3 331 



»Siti5* J-^ c5i^ '^ IJX^Jt \^J^f <» i^f c^^lt tge' ® ^^ ^>i 6i^^ ^ 

42. (Uj^c . . . oJU)j) That Day those who had disbelieved and dis- 
obeyed the Messenger would wish 116 that the earth would be levelled over them, 
and they will not be able to hide any discourse 117 from Allah. 


43 (U*i . . Uj(,j) V° u who believe! do not approach prayer while 
you are drunken 118 until you understand 119 what you say, 120 nor yet while you are 
polluted, 121 save when you arc wayfaring, 122 you have washed yourselves. 128 And 
if you are ailing 124 or on a journey 125 or one of you comes from the privy 126 or 
you have touched women, 127 and you do not find water 128 then betake yourselves 
to clean earth and wipe your faces and your hands 'with-it. 1 ** Verily Allah is ever 
Pardoning. 130 Forgiving. 131 

44, { J-m-JI • • • <*JI) Hast thou 132 not observed those 133 to whom was 
given a portion of the Book 134 purchasing 135 error, 136 and intending that you 137 
wpuld err as regards the way? 138 

45. (t^j . . . xJU!,) And Allah is Knower of your enemies 139 ; suffices 
Allah as a Friend, 140 and suffices Allah as a Helper. 141 

116. (in their extreme anguish and consternation). 

117. (and they would have no option but to make clean confession). 

118. (the state of intoxication being absolutely incompatible with the 
worship attitude). 

119. i. e., you are able to understand wejl, to comprehend fully. 

120. The prayers at their appointed hours being obligatory, the injunction 
not to pray when drunk evidently leaves little room for indulgence in drink. The 
verse as the first step towards prohibition was revealed sometime before the 
command came for total abstinence. 

12L i. e., after the emission of seed, either in waking or in sleep, and there- 
fore under an obligation to perform total ablution or bathing. 

122. For which case provision is made in the next sentence. 

332 Part V 

123. i; e., have performed a total ablution or bathing. Physical cleanliness, 
in Islam, is a sine qua non for moral and spiritual purification. 

124. (and the use of water islikely to aggravate or prolong disease). 

125. (and water is not obtainable nearby). 

126. In which case a fresh wudhu, or ablution of face is obligatory, for 
praying purpose. 

127. (. e. 9 have had intercourse with them, which makes bathing obligatory. 

128. (for use) i. e. y whether it is unobtainable of injurious to health. 

1.29. *...*., by clapping palms of hands twice on clean dust and passing them 
over on hands up to elbows and face as if they were being washed by water. The 
process is technically known as ^^j . 

130. i. e.y And so His injunctions are never burdensome. 

131. And so He enjoins only what is easy to bear. 

132. (O reader!). 

133. i. e.y the Jews, and specially those learned in their religious lore. 

134. By a portion of the book i$ meant the Torah. The word 'Book' is 
here used in a generic sense. 

135. The word 'purchase' implies their choice and deliberation. Their guilt 
is not accidental but intentional. 

136. *. e.y deliberate unbelief and infidelity. 

137. (also, O Muslims!). 

138. Not content with their own wrong-headedness, the Jews are also 
endeavouring to lead the Muslims astray. 

139. (who would lead you off the way). 

140. (so He warns you against them). 

141. (so the Muslims need not be over-anxious). 

IV. SUrat-ul-Nisa 333 

tew; \u^m ^P^^l^^^iu^s^^^ 

46. (KxJj . . .' is y) Among those who are Judaised 142 are some who 
pervert words 143 from their meanings and say: 144 'we have heard and we dis- 
obey' 145 and 146 'hear thou without being made to hear', and RA'IN A 147 twisting 
their, tongues 148 and scoffing at the faith. And had they said: 'we have heard 
and obey' and: 'hear thou', and 'UNZURNA,' 149 it surely had been better for 
them 150 and more upright. 151 But Allah has cursed them 152 for their infidelity. 
So* they shall not believe, save a few. 153 

47. (!»,,ju- . . . IfcjLjT" ° y° u who are given the Book 154 believe in what 
We have sent down 155 confirming what is with you, before We change faces, 156 
and turn them upon their backs, 157 or We might curse them even as We cursed 
the people of the Sabt, 158 and Allah's command is ever carried out. 159 

48. (Ua^ . . . .!) Surely Allah will not forgive that aught be joined 
with Him, 160 and He will forgiVe 161 all else 162 to whom He will. 163 And whoso 
joined aught with Allah, 164 he has certainly fabricated a mighty sin 165 

49. -(lux* ■. . . fd\) Hast .thou 166 not observed those who hold themselves 
to be pure? 167 Nay, it is Allah who purifies 168 whom He will,*** and they shall 
not be wronged a whit. 170 

142. And they are the enemies spoken of. 

143. i. e. y they dislocate and corrupt the very words and passages of the holy 
texts, alter their sense, and twist their rendering. The Holy Qur'an was not the 
first to charge the Jews with the falsification of their Scriptures. Even Justin, in 
the beginning of the second century of the Christian era, charged them 'with 
immorality and with having expunged from their Bibles much that was favourable 
to Christianity. These charges were repeated by the succeeding Christian polemists. 
(JE, X, p. 103). Modern Jewish theology of the Reform school not only admits 
'the human origin of the Holy Scriptures' and recognizess that 'the matter recorded 
is sometimes in contradiction to the proved results of modern historical, physical, and 
psychological research/ but also arrives at the following conclusions :—- 

(1) 'The ancient view of a literal dictation by God must be surren- 

334 PartV 

(2) 'The seers and writers of Judea must be regarded as men with human 
failings, each with his own peculiarity of style and sentiment/ 

(3) And that though 'the prophet and sacred writer were under the 
influence of the Divine Spirit while revealing, by word or pen, new 
religious ideas .... the human element in them was not extinguished, 
and consequently, in regard to their statements, their knowledge, and 
the form of their communication, they could only have acted as 
children of their age/ (JE. VI. pp. 608-609). So the fallibility and 
the human origin of the Jewish Scriptures are self-confessed. 

144. (in pride and conceit). 

145. See P. I, n. 403. 

146. Thus they said, when addressing the Holy Prophet, by way of 

147. See P. I, no. 466. 

148. The Jews, unchastened, used language of banter when addressing the 
Holy Prophet— words bearing a good sense in Arabic, but really spoken by them in 
derision and ridicule according to their meaning in Hebrew. 'Not satisfied with 
tormenting Mohammed with questions on Torah which they were always wrangling 
about themselves, they took hold of the everyday formulas of Islam, the daily prayers 

/ and ejaculations, and twisting their tongues, mispronounced them so that they meant 
something absured or blaphemous/ (LSK Intro., pp. LXII-LXIII). 'Political 
inferiority, indeed, compelled them to disguise their hatred ; but their real feelings 
transpired, in various ways, and among others in expressions of double meaning/ 
(Muir, op. cit. cit., p. 327). 

149. See P. I, n. 467 ff. 

150. i. e., condusive to their own good. 

151. i. e.y meet and proper in itself. 

152. i. e., has cast them away from His special grace and mercy. 

153. (and those few will find their way to Islam). 

154. i.e., Taurat. 

155. (now) i. e., the Holy Qur-an. 

156. (beyond all recognition). 

157. i. e., back parts of their faces. Or the phrase may mean : 'before we 
make faces to be like the backs of necks. * (LL). The passage emphasizes the liability 
of the culprits to these penalties, although the Divine mercy may never have 
permitted the actual infliction of the sentence. (Th). 

158. i. e. 3 the violaters of the Sabbath. See P. I, nn. 291, 292. 

159. (so beware of your persistent misbehaviour). 

160. (so that the polytheist is doomed to punishment, extreme and everlast- 
ing). Notice for the hundredth time an indescribable enormity of the sin of 
polytheism. 'Throughout whole of Muslim theological literature the heresy most 

IV. Surat-ul-Niset 335 

dreaded is that of shirk, or giving to God a "partner, and the exposition of the Being 
of God is set forth in such a way as always to emphasize His absolute Unity/ 
(Arnold, Islamic Faith, pp. 5-6). 

161. (wholly or in part). 

162. i. *., all other sins, whether capital of minor. 

163. (in accordance with his universal Plan). 

164. i. e., gives Him a co-partner in any form whatever. 

165. i. e. 9 the most heinous of all sins; and it is this extreme heinousness of 
sin that would lead him to eternal perdition. 

166. (O reader!) 

167. i. e. 9 holy, free from all sins; children of God, or claiming special 
relationship with Him. 

168. i.-e.y it is He alone who can and shall purify. 

169. (and obviously it shall please Him to purify the believers, not the 

170. i. e. y the punishment of the guilty ones will only be commensurate with 
their guilt, and will not exceed it. 


336 Part V 

50 - '(U*i** .'.-. %&l) Look! how they 171 fabricate a lie against Allah, 172 
and enough is that 173 as a manifest sin. 


51. (\x^ . . . Jl) Hast thou 17 / not observed those to whom is given 
a portion or the Book 175 testifying to idols and devils, 1 ' 6 and speaking of those 
who. have disbelieved! 177 'these are better guided as regards the way than the 
believers'? 178 

52. (Ux^j . .. . UtfJ 5 l) Those are they whom Allah has cursed, and 
whom Allah curses, 179 for them thou shall not find a helper. 180 

53. (tvxsj . . . A) Have they a share in the kingdom? 181 /f so, they 
will not give mankind 182 a speck. 183 

54. {\;xx&* . . . A) Or do they envy the people 184 on account of what 
Allah has granted them out of His grace? 185 So surely We granted the house of 
Ibrahim 1 * 6 the Book and wisdom and We granted them a mighty kingdom. 187 

55. (t)**" - - • n^ } ) Then amon 9 them were some who be,,eved in 
It 188 and among them were others who turned aside from it 189 and enough is 
Hell as a Flame. 

171. i. e. 9 the infidels, specially the Jews. 

172. (by implying that God approves their methods of infidelity and impiety. 

173. *'. *?., their audacity in imputing to God an approval of sin and unbelief. 

174. (O reader!) 

175. 'A portion of the genuine Divine Book' is Taurat; and the reference 
is to the parties of the Jews who out of their inveterate enmity of Islam and the 
Holy Prophet, had gone over to the idolatrous Arabs and formed alliance with them. 

176. (by their conduct and attitude). Their poets and poetesses wrote 
'satirical verses on the battle of Badr/ and by their verses 'stirred up the Kuraish 
at Mecca/ ( JE. VIII, p.~646). • i^p here is not 'believing'. It must be translated, 
as the context makes it amply clear, by some such expression as 'testifying', 

IV. Sdrat-ulNisa _^_ __ 337 

'preferring' or 'having a partiality for\ The Jews did not actually declare tbeir 
faith in idols and images, but by siding with the pagans they unmistakably showed 
their preferment for idolatry. The verse lays bare their tacit approval, by their 
conduct, of idolatry and paganism. 

177., i. e., of the Arab pagans; the idolaters. 

178. This the Jews said openly. Their approval of idolatry was only 
implied; their encouragement of the idolaters was avowed and explicit. 'When 
asked which they preferred, Islam or idolatry, the frankly avowed that they preferred 
idolatry'. (LSK. Intro,, p. LXIII). 

179. i. *., for delivering Him from the appointed doom both in this world 
and the Hereafter. 

180. (even in this world). Of the three Jewish clans flourishing in Arabia 
two 'were sent into exile, just as they had previously come into exile, and the third 
was exterminated— the men killed, and the women and children made slaves/ 
(LSK. Intro., p. CXIV.). 

181. i. '*., are these Arab Jews the masters of territory ? 

182. f. e., their fellow-men. 

18[3. So niggardly are they of spirit ! 

184. Here the Muslims are meant. When the Muslim forces suffered a 
temporary set-back at Ohud, the Jews were specially jubilant/ (JE. VIII, 
p. 646). 

185. i. e., the gifts of apostleship and temporal power. 

186. which house, of course, includes Isma'ii as well as Isaac. 

187. See P. I., n. 586. The emphasis is on the words 'house of Ibranlm*. 
It was they who were promised leadership in religion and greatness as a nation. The 
argument runs: why should the Jews express surprise at all at the conferment of 
these gifts, spiritual and temporal, on the Holy Prophet of Islam ? Is he not as 
good a descendant of Abraham as any of the Israelite prophets ? 

188. i. e., in the Divine revelations of their days. 

189. So acceptance of the Divine truth by some and rejection by others has 
always been the case with the Jews. 

338 Part V 

r »*fejrf ; »ci£&3 

56. (La<^ ...'. |) Verily those who disbelieve in Our revelations, them 
We will soon cast in Fire. Whenever their skins are burnt up 190 We will change 
them for other skins/ 91 to keep up their tasting of the torment. 192 Verily Allah is 
ever Mighty, 193 Wise. 194 

57. (x^it , . . ..j^JV.) And those who believe and work righteous 
works, soon We will admit them to the Garden beneath which rivers flow abiding 
there for ever. For them shall be spouses, 195 and We will admit them to a 
sheltering shade 196 

58. (\yx«?j . . . ^l) Verily Allah commands that you 197 shall render dues 
to the owners thereof, and that, when you judge between men, judge with 
equity. 198 Excellent 199 is that with which Allah exhorts you; verily Allah is ever 
Hearing, 200 Seeing. 201 

190. i. e. y thoroughly burnt and their sensibility has been deadened. 

191. (endowed with full sensibility). 

192: This is to emphasize that the torment shall be unremittant. 

193. i. e., Able to inflict any punishment in any form He wills. 

194. (so He shall choose the forms of the torment at its proper time). 

195. See'- P. I, n. 108. 

196. ijjjz tk is 'constant shade, or, extensive shade; or in this case, the 
latter word denotes intensiveness, meaning dense' (LL). The allusion obviously is 
to the ease and pleasentness of life in Paradise. 

197. (O men in authority !) 

198. 'That the Prophet did much to put down injustice and oppression, no 
one can deny/ (Roberts, 4p. cii f9 p. 101). 

199. (both as regards the, temporal benefits and the spiritual merits). 

200. i.'e. 9 cognizant of wl\at you say of your words. 
201.'. i. dy cognizant of wha\t you do of your acts. 

IV. Surat-ul-Nisa . 339 



59. (Uj 5 U . . . y H \j) you who believe ! obey Allah 202 and obey the 
Messenger 203 and men of authority from amongst you; 204 then if you 205 quarrel 206 
in aught refer it 207 to Allah 208 and the Messenger, 209 if you indeed believe in Allah 
and the Last Day. 210 That is the best 2 * 1 and the fairest 212 interpretation. 


60. (Ua*j ... . ,.)\) Hast thou* 13 not observed those 214 who assert that 
they believe in what has been sent down to thee and what has been sent down 
before thee, and yet desiring to go to the devil for judgement 815 whereas they 216 
have been commanded to deny him; and Satan desires to mislead them far off. 217 

61. Yt^V. . • iiK) And when it is said to them: 'come to what 
Allah has sent down and to the Messenger', 218 thou wilt see the hypocrites hang 
back far from thee > 

62. (Uoo . . . LJxf}) How then, 219 when same ill 220 befalls them 
because of what their hands have sent forth 221 and then they came to thee 
swearing by Allah : we meant naught 222 save kindness 228 and concord. 224 

202.. (as the Supreme Law-giver). Obedience to God means voluntary 
submission to His will and commands ; and by obedience to God man completes his 
sacrifice, and surrenders to Him all that he yet holds as his own, his most precious 

203. (as the infallible interpreter of the Divine Will). Obedience to the 
apostle means obedience to Him through His vicegerent. 

204. i.e., men of authority and learning among the Muslim community. 
c In general, those who are termed ^JJJ j | of the Muslims, are those who superin- 
tend the affairs of such with respect to religion, and everything conducing to the 
right disposal of their affairs/ (LL). The i Ulamd (or guardians of the Law) are 
laymen only, claiming no status or privilege apart from that of the general commu- 
nity. The only authority they could exercise was derivable from their deep 
knowledge and assiduous study of the Qur'an and the Sunnah. 

340 Part V 

205. u e., the community in general on the one hand, and those in authority 
on the other. 

206. Note that obedience to the men in authority is not on a par with 
obedience to God and His apostle, the latter being absolute and unconditional. 
There is no such thing in Islam as an 'infallible Church, protected from error, and 
guided by the Holy Ghost/ Right of differing from those in authority implies and 
allows full scope of private judgment even to the humblest'. member of the 

207. i. e.y the matter in dispute. 

208. i, e My His Holy Book; the Qur'an. 

209. i. e., the mouthpiece of Revolution ; his precepts and practices. 

210. Note the extreme necessity of referring back, in cases of disagreement, 
all mutual disputes to the original sources — the Qur'an and the Sunnah. 

.211. i. e. 9 conducive to peace, prosperity and contentment in this world. 
2-1.2. i. e. 9 conducive to happiness and bliss in the Hereafter. 

213. (O Prophet!) 

214. The reference is to the hypocrites, specially those from among the Jews. 

215. i. e., they resort, while professing Islam, to non-Islamic tribunals for 
judgement in their disputes. . ^ ^ [y here stands for 'any un-Islamic tribunal*. 

216. i. e., those who profess Islam. 

217. (so they ought to have been on their guard against his seductive 
methods) . 

218. (for the decision of your disputes). 

219. (will it fare with them). 

220. i. *., an exposure of their duplicity, for instance. 

221. i. e., as an outcome of thrir own handiwork. 

222. (by seeking redress elsewhere) . 

223. (to the accused). 

224. (between the parties). The excuse of the hypocrites, on such occasions, 
amounted to this: the prerogative of decision certainly belongs to the Prophet ; we 
never meant to question that. Our object in going to some one else was not to 
secure exactly a judicial pronouncement, but to bring about mutual agreement, 
conciliation somehow or other between the parties. 

{V. Sut-arul-Nisa _ 341 

63. (bUJb • . . uiiJ.J) Those are they of whom Allah knows whatever 
is in their hearts; 225 so 226 turn thou from them 227 and admonish them, 228 and 
speak to them for their souls 229 an effective word. 

64. (U#a>) • . . U.) And not a Messenger have We sent but to be 
obeyed 230 by Allah's will. And if they, when they had wronged their souls, 231 had 
pome to thee 232 and begged forgiveness of Allah and the Messenger had begged 
forgiveness for them, 233 they would surely have found Allah Relenting, 234 
Merciful. 235 

65. (L^JUj • . . Hi) Aye ! by thy Lord, they shall not really believe 236 
until they have made 237 thee 238 judge of what is disputed among them, and then 
find no demur 239 in their hearts against what thou hast decreed and they submit 
with full submission. 240 

66. (ly$*£5 . . . jjj) And had We prescribed to them : 241 'kill yourselves 
or go forth from your dwellings', they would have not done it, save a few -of 
them. 242 And did they 243 perform what they were exhorted to perform, 2 " it 
would be for them better 245 and more strengthening. 246 * 

67. (Uxlij: ... lit .) And then 247 surely We would have given them from 
Our presence a mighty wage. 

68. (\+.xa>\m* . . . *$X.j ^O And surely We would have guided them to 
a path straight. 

225. (of hypocrisy and dissimulation, and in accordance with that knowledge 
He shall punish them at the proper time). 

226. i. e., taking thy support in the Divine knowledge, and contenting 
thyself with the Divine punishment. (Th). 

227. (and be not hard upon them). 

228. (as befits thy mission) . Admonition and exhortation are the sine qua hon 
for the prophetic office. 

229. v i. e. y for their good; with this object that they might discard their 

342 Part V 

230. (so they ought to have, obeyed thee and not have sinned against thee at 

231. (by disobeying thee). 

232. (in penitence). 

233. (and by joining his prayer with theirs would have strengthed their 

234. Note that it is not the holy Prophet who is empowered to forgive the 
sinners; he can only beseech God on their behalf. Forgiveness is entirely in the 
hands of God. 

1235. (so that out of His mercy He would have relented towards them and 
forgiven them). 

236. (in the sight of God) i. e., their Islam would not be held genuine and 

237. (and willingly accepted). 

238. (and thy law, after thou art no more). 

239. (bordering on denial), 

240. (to thy decision). The acceptance of the Prophet's decision must be 
heartfelt, and not merely, external. 

241. i. e. , the mankind. 

242. (men of true faith, such as the companions of the holy Prophet). 
True -and devout Muslims are always 'few* as compared with the disobedient 

243. i. e., the hypocrites; those with lip-profession of Islam* 

244. (by way of unquestioning obedience and devotion to the Prophet). 

245. i. e. y as substantiating their claims to merit. 

246. (of their faith) . Deeds of faith make faith itself deeper. 

2%7. i. e., with their substantial claims to merit and on the strength of their 
faith. * * 

IV. SOrat-ul-NisS 343 

' " ■ ' i i ■. ■ ii — — ■—— i ■■—— i i .. . 1 — — 

69. (Uxi) . • . .w**) And whoso obeys Allah and the Messenger, 248 
then those shall be 249 with them whom Allah has blessed 250 — from among the 
prophets, 261 the saints, 252 the martyrs, 253 and the rightous 264 Excellent are these 
as a company ! 

70. (UxJk • . . uOS) That 255 is the grace from Allah, 256 and Allah 
suffices as Knower! • 


71. -(*.*£*&. . . . I^jIj) ■ P y° u wJl ° b e, ' eve • t> e on yo ur guard ; 257 then 
sally forth in detachment or all together. 258 

72. Ylj^juxi ... .,1 *) And surely there is among you 259 he who tarries 
behind, 260 and if an ill befalls you, 261 he says: 262 surely God has been gracious 
to me in that I was not present with them. 263 

73. (l^!-ji . . ..'.Jj.) And if there comes to you a favour from Allah, 264 
then, as if there had been no affection between you and him, he says : 265 would 
that I had been with them ! then I would have achieved a mighty achievement 266 

74. (U^:.c . . . DUjJL>-) Let them therefore fight in the way of Allah 267 
those who have purchased the life of this world for the Hereafter. And whoso 
fights in the way of Allah, and is then slain or triumphs, 268 We will in any case 
give him a mighty wage. 269 

248. (in the obligatory articles of faith). 

249. (out of His grace and bounty, with no claims to the highest merit for 
themselves). . ' 

250. (in the fullest and highest degree). 
251., (who stand highest in spiritual rank) . 

252. (who rank next to the prophets). For -, ^ see p. XVI, n. 151. 

253. i. e., those who have laid down their lives in the cause of faith. See 
p. II, nn. 73-74. 

254. i. e. r those who observe His laws and ordinances in every little detail of 
of their lives. 

344 Part V 

255., i. e. t the gift of so exalted a companionship ; elevation in Paradise to 
the ranks of the prophets, etc. 

256. i. e., a reward far higher than what they are entitled to by their works. 

257. (against your enemies at the time of war) i. e. y be on your guard, and 
provide yourselves with arms and necessaries. 

258. (whatever may suit the occasion). 

259. i. e., in your camp. The word comprises both the believers and the 

260. This alludes to the hypocrites. 
261; i. *., the Muslims. 

262. (rejoicing at his hanging back). 

263. (in the battle-field). 

264. (in the shape of victory). 

265/ (grieving over the loss of his share of booty, and without being at all 
happy at the Muslim victory itself ). 

266. i, *., a rich share of booty. * 

267. . The import of ''in the way of Allah' is that the holy war must be joined 
with pure heart and. clean motives and not from greed of booty. 

268. Note that for a believing, devout warrior there are but two alternatives : 
Paradise through martyrdom, or victory in the battle-field. In no case does he know 
vanquishment or ignominy of defeat. 

269. (in the Hereafter, which is the only and real prize worth striving after). 

IV. Sarat-ut-NisS 345 

r XSi( »<£&»/ 


75. (l^juoj . . . U.) And what ails you that you do not fight in the way 
of Allah 270 and 27 * for the oppressed among men and women and children 272 who 
say, 273 'our Lord ! take us from this town 274 the people of which are ungodly, 276 
and appoint us from before Thee a friend 276 and appoint us from before Thee a 

76. (u^ , . . ji,M) Those who believe fight in the way of Allah 277 
and those who disbelieve fight in the way of the devil. 278 Fight then against the 

'friends of Satan; 279 verily the craft of Satan is ever feeble. 280 . 

270. i. £., to defend and vindicate His true religion. That must always be 
the primary motive. 

271. as an additional reason. 

272. One of the well-recognized objects of the holy war is to rescue *he 

273. *. e.y cry out in sheer helplessness. 

274. (of Makka). . 

275. i.e. ungodly and oppressive. 

276. (to champion bur cause and to deliver us from the plight we are in). 

277. i. e.yio aid and exalt the cause of faith, truth and virtue. : 

278. L *., to aid and exalt the cause of unbelief, untruth and vice. Note the 
utmost contrast between the view-points of the Muslims and their opponents. 

279. (who is backing, instigating and inspiring them, O believers !) 

280. Satan, in Islam, is not a dreadful power, a thing to be afraid of. He 
is to be despised by true believers, and his hosts are sure to be vanquished in the long 
run. This teaching deals a death-blow to the conception of Satan as an Evil Deity 
or sub-deity who has to be propitiated. 

346 PmtV 

j^ ISM £ ^©^^ ^^ 9& 


77. h^j , . . j|) Hast thou 281 not observed those 2 * 2 to whom it was 
said: 883 witholdyour hands, 284 and establish prayer and pay the poor-rate 2 * 5 but 
when thereafter 28 * fighting was prescribed to them, lo ! there is a party of them 281 
dreading men 288 as with the dread 6f Allah or with even greater dread ; 888 and 
they say: 290 our Lord ! why hast thou prescribed to us fighting. 281 Wouldst that 
Thou hadst let us tarry till a term nearby ! 282 Say thou, 293 'trifling is the enjoy- 
ment of this world, 'far better 294 is the Hereafter 295 for him who fears Allah) 2 ** 
and you 207 shall not be wronged a whit. 288 

78. (t£j^ . .■ ... .vis) Death shall overtake you 288 wheresoever you may 
be, even 'though you are in fortresses plastered. 300 And if there riches them some 
good they 301 say: this is from Allah; 302 and if there reaches them some ill/they 
say: 803 this is because of thee. 384 Say thou : from Allah 305 is everything. 306 What 
ails then this people, that they do not understand any speech 7 307 

79. (u. H r .-tz) Whatsoever of good reaches thee 30 * is from Allah* 308 
and whatsoever 6f ill reaches thee 810 is because of thyself. 311 And We have sent 
thee 312 as a, Messenger to the mankind, 3 ' 3 and suffices Allah as a Witness. 314 

80. ■(■U£ & fcL . . . ^t) He who obeys the Messenger has indeed obeyed 
Allah, 815 and he who turns away 318 — We have not sent thee over them as a 
keeper. 817 

281. (O reader!). 

282. The allusion is to the faint-hearted among the Muslims. 

283. (when they were impatient to go to war and were insistent in their 
demand for leave to fight, harassed and persecuted as they were by the idolaters). 

284. (for the time being; while at Makka). 

285. Duties incumbent at all times, war or no war. 

286. *'. e., after their migration to Madlna, when the immediate strong 
incentive to war — the Makkan persecution had ceased to operate. 

IV. SQrat-ul-Nis2 347 

287. i. *., the faint-hearted ones. 

288. t. e., the enemy. 

289. This fear, arising out of fain t-heartedness, was not at all the result of 
full deliberation or lack of conviction, and thus did not draw the censure that it 
would have otherwise deserved. 

290. (in their hearts, if not openly). 

291. (so soon). 

292. (that we might have enjoyed life a little longer). The verse gives lie 
to the imaginary eagerness of the early Muslims for warfare from love of 
booty. The truth of the matter is that they felt hesitant, and very naturally so, 
considering the heavy odds against them and the obvious risks it involved, and went 
to the battle-field only when impelled by a sense of duty. 

293. (O Prophet). 

294. i. e., infinitely more pleasant, and of abiding nature 

295. (which can be won by means of Jih&d). 

296. (and is therefore a believing, devout Muslim). 

297. (6 mankind!) 

298. i. *., none shall be deprived of the reward for his acts of merit, and 
JihUd is such an act pre-eminently. 

299. (at its appointed time, which you cannot escape, so why lose merit by 
evading JihM ?).■■ ". . . 

300. i. *., in buildings most strongly built and best guarded. "Noticeable in 
this connection is an amusing and amazing theory of death being expounded, by 
certain men of science. There is a mysterious ray coming from outside the earth, 
so runs the theory, which constantly beats down upon us from the moment of our 
birth and destroys the cells comprising our bodies. Gradually, as we grow older, the 
process of making good the damage slows down, until finally the ray gets the upper 
hand, and death is the inevitable result. Now how to dodge this ray of death? 
The .'solution ' is to spend the whole of our lives inside a house with lead walls 
20 feet thick, for it has been experimentally found that the ray cannot penetrate 
more than 19 feet of lead. 

301. *. e., the hypocrites. 

302. Intending to mean thereby that it has been due to mere fortuitous set 
of circumstances, and not to any excellence on the part of the holy Prophet and the 

303. (in their intense hatred of the Prophet and the Muslims). 

304. (and thy companions). 

305. The passage not only repudiates every form of 'dualism* but also 
generates in the believing mind adamant fortitude. This is how the doctrine strikes 
even an avowed traducer of Islam: — 'When overtaken by misfortune, no matter how 
undeserved, the Arab says: "It was written !" or "Allah is Great!" Such a 

348 Part V 

discipline makes heroic soldiers, patient and resigned workers/ ( Reinach, Orpheus, 
p. 175). This doctrine of referring every eventto the One and Only God has been the 
consolation of millions and millionsin countless ages* and is the one unfailing support 
to every individual in his dire calamity. It was this doctrine that in the early history 
of Islam nerved its adherents with- a courage and heroism that proved matchless. 

306. (whether good or evil). Cf. the OT :— 'I form the light, and create 
darkness : I make peace, and create evil : I the Lord do all these things. (Is. 45 : 7). 
'Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it ?' (Am, 3 : 6) 

307. even a thing so self-evident. 
308* (Oman!). 

309. i. e., an act of pure Divine grace ; unpreceded by any act of special 
merit on the part of man. 

310. (Oman!) 

311. i. e., a manifestation of Divine justice ; in par t requital of some sin on 
the part of man. Clearly, then, there is no disharmony between what is stated now 
and what has been said in the preceding verse. Afflictions befalling the righteous 
and the saintly, it should be noted, are not afflictions at all. JThey are. only so in 
appearance, not in reality. They are in the nature of a ; training ground. 

312. (O Prophet). 

.,. 313. h *., the whole pf it, and not to a particular race or people. 

314. i. e., one who has furnished the holy Prophet with clear proofs of his 
universal ministry. 

315. Once we have accepted the great Muhammad (on him be peace I) as 
the true apostle of God ? we are bound by all canons of reason and logic to follow 
every one of his precepts and commands implicity, no matter we are able to under- 
stand the ultimate object of a particular order or not. 'Take the example of a 

soldier iwhp has been ordered by his General to occupy a certain strategic position. 
The good soldier would follow and execute the order immediately. If, while doing 
so, he is able to explain to himself the ultimate strategic object which the General 
had in view, the better for him; but in case the deeper aim which, underlies the 
General's command does not reveal itself to him at once> he is nevertheless not 
entitled to give up or even postpone its execution/ (Asad, op. cit., p. 109) 

316; (from obeying and following the Prophet). A corollary to the propo- 
sition laid down in the verse is that he who disobeys the apostle, disobeys God. 

317. i. e. y so grieve not, O Prophet ! at the consequences of their rebellion. 

IV. SUrat-ut-Msa 349 

81 (V 5 ^^7^.) And they 31 ® say, 3 ^ 9 'pbedienee'. 320 to when 

they go forth from before thee, a group of them plan together by night 321 other 
than they had said; 322 and Allah writes down what they plan by night. 323 So 
turn thou from them 324 and trust in Allah, and suffices Allah as a Trustee.** 25 

82 - 0>*# • • • Nil) Do they 3 ^ not then ponder on the Qur'Sn? 327 
Were it from other than Allah they would surely find therein m^y a contradic- 
tion. 328 - 

83. (t^jj ... ti! .) And when there comes to them 329 aught of secu- 
rity 230 or alarm, 331 they spread it abroad, 332 whereas had they referred it to the 
Messenger 333 and those in authority among them, 334 then those of them who can 
think it out 335 would have known it. 336 And had there not been Allah's favotir 
with you 337 and His mercy, 338 you would surely have 339 followed Satan, save a 
few of you. uo 

84. (ilxl; . . • jiUi)' Fight thou therefore in the way of Allah; 341 thou 
are not tasked except for thy own soul, 342 and persuade the believers; 343 Allah 
will perchance withhold the might of those who disbelieve. 844 And Allah is 
Stronger in might 345 and Stronger in chastising. 346 

318. i. e., the hypocrites. 

319. (in when thy presence, G Prophet!) 

320. i. e., we obey thee. 

321. (and in secret) 

322. (before thee) i. e., they profess obedience before thee, but when 
alone, their chiefs conspire against thee; The passage may also be rendered : C A 
part of them meditateth by night upon doing otherwise than that which thou hast 
said': \JLj meaning tx>th 'they were saying' and 'thou gayest*. 

323. (and He shall punish them accordingly at the proper time) 

324. (and feel no anxiety on their account, O Prophet !) 

325. i. e., as Disposer of all affairs and as Protector of His faithful servants, 
and as one who is Able to settle accounts with their enemies. 

350 PtrtV 

326. i. e ., the infidels. 

327. (and endeavour to obtain a clear knowledge of what is in it). 

The Holy Qur'an being so transparently full of exquisite beauties and excellences, 
moral and spiritual, that an unbiased study of it is sure to convince everyone of its 
Divine origin* 

328. (from which both in its external and internal aspects, it is remarkably 
and singularly free). Thus it is that all the numerous sects and parties among the 
Muslims have the same Holy Text and are agreed as to its purity. Even the Christian 
critics who cherish to find 'its many errors and defects* have to acknowledge that 
there are no 'intentional alterations and mutilations' in it at all. This is clearly one 
of the most powerful arguments in support of the claim of the QiH^an, specially in 
view of the glaring fact that the canoncial books of the Bible, adopted as the 
foundation of faith after prolonged deliberation, not only contradict each other in 
details but are entirely at variance with a large number of equally respectable books 
rejected as a spurious or apocryphal. 

329^ i.e., the hypocrites. 

330. For instance, the news of Muslim victories. 

331. For instance, tha news of Muslim reverses. 

332. (immediately, without stopping to make a proper investigation) . 

333. (instead of publishing it themselves). 

334. t. «., among the Muslim community. 
335.. i. «., the chief companions .of the Prophet, 

# 336. (whether the news was correct or not, or, if correct, worth publishing 
yt not) 

337. (O Muslims!) 

338. God's grace and mercy, in this instance, consisted in blessing the 
Muslim community with two such marvellous gifts as the Holy Qur'an and the Holy 

339. (as instigated and misguided by the hypocrites). 

340. Those very few, by their rare and exceptional good sense, might have 
arrived independently at the true notions of Divinity ; but then this gift of so sound 
and discerning an intellect is also an outcome of special Divine providence and 

341. (nor when jihud has been prescribed for thee, O Prophet I) 

342. i. *., so thou art not at all accountable for the action or inaction of 

343. (to fight). All this refers to a period before JiMA was prescribed as a 
public duty. 

344. (and shall vanquish them). Surely no mere human brain could have 
ventured on such a prophecy with all the odds against the triumph of Islam and 
with hardly any resources at its command. 

345. (against rebels and offenders, in this world) '». e. y powerful and 
invincible as the anti-Islamic forces seem to be, Allah's power is immeasurably 
greater, and He is well-able to smash them . 

346. (against rebels and offenders, in the hereafter). 

IV. Sfirat-ul-Nisa 351 

r #u^»*_ ■ . __^«_ _ •ev-*w»m 


85. (U^a<* . . . -.*-.) He who intercedes with a goodly intercession, 847 his 
shall be a portion 348 therefrom 349 and he who intercedes with an ill interces- 
sion 850 his shall be a responsibility thereof : And Allah is Controller of every- 
thing.* 51 

86. (tju^ew'- • • f^ %) Andwben.YouareVgreetea'with.agreetfng^thjBn 
greet back with one better than that or return that. 353 Verily Allah is Reckoner of 
everything. 314 

87 (UUicw . . . xUO Allah ! there is no god but He. 886 Surely He 
will gather you together on 8 * 6 - the Day of Judgement of which there is no doubt 
and who is more truthful in dis'.ourse than Allah? 357 


88. (Uva^ . . . r OUi) What ails you then 358 that you are 358 two parties 
regar ling the hypocrites, 368 whereas Allah has overthrown them 381 because of 
what they have earned. 382 Would you 363 lead aright those whom Allah has sent 
astray? 364 And whomso Allah sends astray for him thou 866 shall not find a way , 888 

89. (t v ,^j . . . j| ^ ^ They yearn that you 367 disbelieved even as they 
have disbelieved, so that you 368 may be all alike. 368 So do not take friends from 
among them unless they migrate 3 ? for the sake of Allah ; 371 and if they turn 
away 872 then seize them and kill them 373 wherever you find them, and do not take 
from among them a friend or a helper. 874 

347. i. e. r one desirable both in regard to its object and its method. 

348. (Of merit) 

349. i. e., due to that goodly intercession. 

350. i. e., intercession for an evil cause or with improper methods. 

351. (and so requiting both good and evil) 

352. (by a Muslim, known or presumed, in the Muslim fashion, O Muslim I). 
The customary greeting in Islam is : — 'Peace be upon you/ says one. ''And with you 
be peace and the mercy of God/ replies another. 


Part V 

353. It is this command, in the main, which is responsible for the following 
scene, so general in the Muslim lands, witnessed and commented 

la$y :— < c As-salam-alaikumi, these gentle words of greeting each other, as they pass, is 
a ntusic to the ear; It is amusing to watch the dexterity with which two friends will 
sustain % competition in greeting; each one endeavouring to outdo the other in 
compliments. . . .Master and servant, the rich' and the jpoor, the learned and the 
unlettered, greet each other with the same dignity on both sides, leading to no loss 
of self-respect to either'. (Lady C^bbold,(^.a^j pp. 59-^0)* 

354. (great or small). 

355. See P;iII,n. 19. 

356. j 1 in this phrase is in the sense of ^} (LL). 

357. (and it is He who is announcing the advent of that Day). 

358. (O Muslims!) Certain Makkans professing Islam had migrated to 
Madina, but later pretending to fetch their merchandise, obtained leave to go back 
to Makka whence they never returned, and joined the pagans. The verses now 
relate to this brand of apostates and renegades; 

359; (even now). * 

360. i. e., divided as to whether they should be treated as infidels, and be 
slain or not. 

361. (to infidelity open and avowed). 

362. i. e. y because of the act they have deliberately and wilfully committed: 
the act of their leaving, under false pretences, Madina, the only Dar-ul-Islam at the 

' 363. The address is to the Muslims who were till then unaware of the severe 
guilt of the offenders. ; 

364. (in consequence of their deliberate choice to go astray). 

365. <0 reader!). 

366. i;^., ilobody can create sense of belief and righteousness in one who 
chooses to go wrong. No human efforts can make him who is wilfully blind see. 

367; (O Muslims!). 

368. (and they). 

369. (in ungodliness). This shows the zeal of the hypocrites for misleading 
the Muslims. 

370. (to Madina as Muslims). Migration to Madina, was, at the time, an 
obligatory act of duty and a visible token of the acceptance of Islam. 

371. i.e., as true Muslims. Mere entry into Madina was not enough, as 
pagans also visited Madina for trade purposes. 

372. (from complying with these terms and conditions, and remain infidels 
as heretofore). 

•— 373. ' now that a state of belligerency exists. 

374. i/e., have nothing whatever to do with them; have them neither as 
friends in peace nor as helpers in distress. 

IV. Smat-ul-Nisa 353 

r&d ...... ; m _ ai^LJV 


90. (?u Stv . . /^.jiil »!) Excepting those 375 who join a people between 
whom and you there is a compact 576 or who came to you with their breasts 
straitened that they should fi grit you or fight their own people. 377 And had Allah 
5b 'wffred/'^He would'' have" - surely set them upon you. 378 If then they withdraw 
from you, 379 and do not iitjht against you, and offer you peacte, then Allah does 
not assign you a Vvay Against them. 380 

- 9f. (lxxx+ . • ; l ..4t;) ;; Surely you will find others desirihg 381 that they 
may be^cure from you ahd hriay be secure from their people, and yet whenever 
they #e brought back 8 ** into the temptation 383 they revert to it. ?84 Then if they do 
not withdraw from you, nor offer you peace, nor restain their hands, 386 seize them 
and kill them wherever you find them. These i against them, We have given 
you a clear Authority. 386 

375. (of the infidels). 

376. (of alliance). Thus, being allies of your allies, such infidels enter into 
an indirect alliance with the believers. r 

377. (and thus seeking your alliance directly), iv *., their hearts shrinking 
from. v fighting you^or their own people. ^Xj'jIMj ,J is here synonymous with 

378. fbut in His immeasurable grace and infinite mercy He did not so will, 
and now they are of themselves offering you submission and seeking your alliance 
and good- will). 

379. (with no intent to molest you) 

380. (either of slaying them or of taking them prisoners). 
381; i (but of their cunning and design). 

382. (by the open and avowed enemies of Islam). 

383. (of waging war upon the Muslims). 

384. (without compunction). 

385. (against you) . 

386. (for war). - * 

354 Part V 

fttjll . »__&> 

SECTION' f 3- 

92. : (U*te». . . jalfVf) H is not for a believer to kill a believer save by 
a mischance; 3 * 7 arid he who kills a believer by a mischance, on him is the setting 
free of a believing slave 388 and bloodwit 333 to be deliver^ to his famMy 330 except 
that they forgo. 3 * 1 Then if he 3 * 2 is of a people hostile to you and is himself a 
believer, then the setting free of a believing slave; 393 and if he be of a people 
between whom and you is a compact 304 then the blood-wit to be delivered to his 
family 336 and the setting free of a believing slave. 333 Then whoso does not find 
the wherewithal** 7 on him is the fasting for two months in succession: 338 a 
penance 3 ** from Allah. And Allah is ever Knowing, Wise. 

93. (Ui&r . •'• ^*.) And he who w " s a k-* tevef wiHfully/ 30 his 
requital* 31 is Hell as an abider therein, 432 and Allah shall be wroth wfth+Mm 433 end 
shall curse him 43 * and shall prepare for hrm a torment terrible. 433 

387. i. e* f by accident, noH&y design. 

388. (or a bondwomaiafj. 

389. Murder, in Muslim jurisprudence, is not only a capital criminal offence 
but also a civil wrong; anoV the life of a murderer, in the law of Islam, as in ancient 
Greece, was forfeited to the kinsmen of the slain, who could, if they chose accept a 
fine as satisfaction. See II, n. 177, 183 ff. 

390. *.*., the deceased's legal heirs. 

391. (that compensation in part or in full). 
392; i. e., the person slain. 

393. (or bondwoman, but not blood-wit, since his relations are infidels, and 
no infidel has a right to a Muslim's inheritance). 

394. (of alliance, and he himself is an infidel). 

395. Since there is no objection to an infidel inheriting an infidel's property. 

396. (or a bondwoman). 

397. (in case where the setting-free of a slave is obligatory). 

/I/. SBrat-u/'Nisa 355 

398. (in lieu of the freeing of a slave). 

399. L e.y enjoined by. 

400. i. e., by design, not by accident, and is unrepentant. 

401. (originally and primarily). 

402. (for ever). But since eternal damnation is incompatible with faith, this 
original sentence is not carried out in full, by the grace of God, in the case of 

403. (for a definite period) . 

404. u e.y shall deprive him of His special mercy. 

405. (for a definite period). 

356 Pa* V 

5 JM ¥*'& v&& '& St^ugi ^M-P- $# ft ^ ^' 
(^i^u)i (^ ^t^ftito&i J^J>Ji£tjj<NtdJ>j ^»S *^*-J^ «:^#iM J*. 

94. (f>&*£» . . . lfc}U)"0 you who believe ! when you march forth 406 in 
the way of Allah, make things clear 407 not say to one 408 who offers you a 
greeting: 409 'thou art none of a believer' 410 seeking the perishable goods of the 
life of this world ; 411 for with Allah are spoils abundant 412 Even thus were you 
aforetime, 413 then Allah did a favour to you. 414 So make things clear. 415 Verily 
Allah is ever Aware of what you do. 

95. (L^* . . . ^i**»j>y) Not equal 416 are the holders back among the 
believers, 417 save those who are disabled 418 and the strivers in the way of Allah 
with their riches and their lives. 419 Allah has preferred in rank the strivers with 
their riches and their lives above the holders-back, 420 and to all 421 Allah has 
promised good. 422 And Allah has preferred the strivers above the holders-back 
with a mighty wage — 

96. (U*^ . . . c^jij) Ranks from Him and forgiveness and mercy; 428 
and Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful. 

406. (to fight the infidels). 

407. (for yourselves, in every act of yours) i,..e-.> investigate fully before you 
proceed to slay. 

408. (doubting his sincerity or genuineness of his conversion) . 

409. (in a Muslim fashion, or meets you with other tokens of friendship and 

410. (at heart, but only pretendest to be so in order to save thy life from 
our hands). 

411. (by killing him in holy war and apportioning to you his property as 
your share of booty). ' 

412. (which every Muslim can easily win by walking in His way). 

413. u e. y you yourselves were judged Muslims, some time before, by no 
other means than your verbal declaration of the faith and outward tokens of Islam. 
Many of the distinguished pagans had not at once become converts at heart ; their 
genuine conversion came only gradually. 

IV. Sdrat-ul-Nis* 357 

414. (so that the Muslims took you at your words, without having arr in- 
quiry into your inner feelings and in the sincerity or otherwise of your declarations). 

41 5 . (for yourselves, and be ever careful in observing this inj un ctidn) . 

416. " (in degrees of merit). 

417. i.e>j those, who without reasonable ; cause stayed at horne and did not 
join the holy war. 

418. (by illness or for some other good reason). 

419. (by spendiiig their money lavishly and recklessly, and by risking thejr 

420. (at home). Note that these stay-at-home are not counted as sinners, 
since the duty of joining the holy war was not, at the time, obligatory on every 
able-bodied individual., 

421. (comprising the two classes mentioned). 

422. (in the Hereafter^ as reward for their respective deeds of merit). 

423. Words explanatory of 'mighty hire\ 

358 Part V 


97. (!)^m . . . <♦>!) Verily to those whom the angels carry off in death 
while yet they are wronging their souls/*** they will say *U what were you in. 48 *? 
They will say* 27 'weakened were we in the land'.* 28 They* 2 * will say, 'was not 
Allah's land wide so that you could migrate thereto'?* 30 These I their resort is 
Hell : an evil retreat 

98. (t^^ • . . ji) Excepting the weak ones among men, women and 
children, unable 4 * 1 to find a stratagem and not guided to the way. 

99. (l)WLi . . .-U&'li). These are they whom Allah is likely to pardon, 
and Allah is ever Pardoning, Forgiving. 

100. (U«^) . • . ^ ) And he who* 82 migrates in the way of Allah shall 
find in the earth plentiful refuge and amplitude; 433 and he who goes forth from 
his house as a fugitive unto Allah and His Messenger, and death overtakes 
him, 431 his wage 43 * has surely devovled upon Allah;* 36 , and Allah is ever Forgiv- 
ing 43 * Merciful. 433 

424. (by not migrating to Madina). Their offence consisted in their not 
joining the Holy Prophet and the Muslim community at Madina, which was a 
duty incumbent upon them, but staying without any justification at Makka with 
and among the idolaters and not wishing to break with them. 

425* (while taking away their souls). 

426. (so that you found it impossible to fulfil the obligations of your faith) 

427. (excusing themselves). 

428. (of our birth and dwelling and unable to resist the infidels, and also 

unable to observe the obligations of our faith). 

429. (i. e. the angels). 

430. (for the proper observance of the obligations of your faith). The 
meaning is : if the exercise of your religion was impossible in the land of your birth 

N. . SOrat-ul'Nisl 359 

and dwelling, why did not you migrate to some other place on God's wide and 
spacious earth ? 

431. (in fact, and not feigning inability). 

432. (charged with migration). 

433. (wherein to practise his faith). 

434. (before he has reached his destination). 

435. (which in Divine bounty is conferred upon mere good intention); 

436. (for this act of migration, though only undertaken and not completed). 

437. (and so He shall forgive his many other faults). 

438. (so that He counts the incomplete act of migration as complete, and 
rewards it in full). 

360 »..„.^„\]^\^:l*^?*S--y 


101. (IX&* . . . |«Sl 5 ) And when you are journeying in the earth, 43 * it 
will be no fault in you that you shorten the prayer 440 if you apprehend that 
those who disbelieve will molest you; 4 ** verily the infidels are ever unto you an 
avowed enemy. 

102. (U^^ . . . fit.) And when thou 442 art amidst them 443 and hast set 
up the prayer for them, 444 then let a party of them stand with thee and let them 
retain their weapons; 445 then when they have prostrated themselves, 446 let them 
go behind you, 447 and let another pai;ty who have not yet prayed 448 come** 9 and 
pray with thee ; and let them also take their pre-cautions and their weapons. 
Those who disbelieve wish that you neglected your weapons and your baggage, 
so that they might swoop down upon you a one swoop. 460 No fault there will 
be in you if there is an injury to you from rain or you are ailing, 451 that you lay 
down your arms and yet take your caution. Verily Allah has prepared for the 
infidels a torment ignominious. 

439. (or by the sea, O Muslims!) The distance to be covered must be at 
least for three 'stages or manzils, i. e., about 60 English miles, according to the 
Hanafi school of law, and a much shorter distance according to other schools. 

440. (by half, so that the number of rak'at zX Zuhar (noon), c Asr (afternoon) 
and c /iAa (night) prayers would be reduced to two. 

441. (by your halting at a place too long). ixxS here may also be taken in 
the sense of 'slaying/ * 

442. (O Prophet ! or any other in thy place). 

443. 1. e. y the Muslims. 

444. (and an attack by the enemy may be imminent). 

445. (while in prayer, the other half is to be on the look-out for the enemy). 
Note that even at this moment of imminent danger, prayer is not to be put off or 

IV. SUrat-ul-'Nisa 361 

held over. So pre-eminently important is the duty of offering prayers in tjie code of 

446. (and have finished one rak'at). 

447. i. e., in the hindermost row. 

448. (but have been on the look-out for the enemy). 

449. (forward into the front row). 

450. So you need be ever vigilant and on your guard. 

451. (and thus are impeded from taking your arms). 

362 Put V 

103. (by*?* • • • '^) Then when V° u have finished the prayer 462 
remember Allah, 453 standing, sitting, and lying on your sides. 464 Then when you 
are secure 455 establish prayer; 466 verily the prayer is prescribed to the believers at 
definite times. 467 

104. (U^bv ... 2).) And do npt slacken in seeking the enemy people; 468 
if you are suffering, 469 then they 460 suffer even as you suffer, 46 * and you hope from 
Allah what 462 they hope not. 463 And Allah is ever Knowing, 464 Wise. 465 


105. (U**aa. . . . -Uj) Verily We; it is We who have sent down the Book 
to thee 466 with truth, that thou mightest judge 467 between people by 468 what Allah 
has shown thee ; 469 and be not thou 470 a pleader on behalf of the deceivers. 

106. (L*£>o . . . jAAx-Jj) And beg thou forgiveness of Allah ; 4n verily 
Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful. 

107. (U*jJ . . . u ) And plead not 472 thou for those who defraud their 
souls, 473 verily Allah does not love one 474 who is a defrauder, 476 sinner. 476 

452. (thus curtailed and circumscribed). 

453. (as usual). 

454. i,-e. 9 in every attitude and posture as may be practicable ; and do not 
infringe the prescribed law of prayer in any of its details. 

455. i. e., out of danger, and not journeying. 

456. (in its proper, regular form as duly prescribed), 

457. (so it must be offered in every circumstance and at appointed hours). 
'The religion of the Muslim is continually present with him and in the daily prayer 
manifests itself in a solemn and impressive ritual, which cannot leave either the 
worshipper or the spectator unaffected/ (Arnold, Preaching of Islam, p. 417). 'The 
timing of the daily prayer which according to the Qur'an restores self-possession to 
the ego by bringing it into closer touch with the ultimate source of life and freedom, 
is intended to save the ego from the mechanising effects of sleep and business. 

IV. SDrat-ul-Nis* 363 

Prayer in Islam is the ego's escape from mechanism to freedom/ (Iqbal, op. cit., 
pp. 151-152). 

458: (through lack of grip, when that pursuit is necessary). 

459. (of wounds and privations, O Muslims!). 

460. *. e. 9 the enemy. 

461. (so that you and they are equal so far as the physical aspect of the 
war is concerned). 

4^2. (high reward). 

463. (so in strength of mind and spirit you are their superior). 

464. (so that He knows well your enemies' weakness of heart and body). 

465. (so that He does not command you to do acts that are beyond you). 

466. (O Prophet!). 

467. (in this particular afFair). 

468. ;.*., in accordance with; by means of. 

469. (by revelation). lJ!>I is here synonymous with UJys and lJLJU 


470. (in the future, as thou hast never been in the past). Bashlr, a hypo- 
crite, of the clan of Obeiraq* had stolen a bag of flour and some arms from the 
house of Rifa'a, a companion of the Prophet. The theft was detected. The Obeiraq 
people, in order to shield their kinsman, laid the guilt at the door of Labid, a 
faithful Muslim, and protested to the Prophet with an air of injured innocence that 
they were being unjustifiably suspected by Rifa'a. The holy Prophet thereupon is 
reported to have remonstrated with the party of the complainant for suspecting 
without warrant members of the Muslim community. It was at this stage that real 
facts of the case became known to him by Revelation, and Bashlr, the real culprit, 
was exposed. Offended at this he returned to paganism and joined the Makkaris 

471. (for thy remonstrating with the people of the complainant). The act 
on the part of the Prophet on the basis of the facts than available was perfectly 
innocent— even meritorious — but it might have had the effect of silencing the 
complainant, and was thus, in Divine wisdom, not quite politic for the Prophet. 

472. (as they wish thee to contend). 

473. (by wronging others and accusing them falsely). 

474. -—like Bashlr, in this instance — 

475. i. e. y persistent deceiver. 

476. i. e. t addicted to sin. 

364 Pat V 

r&3* ■-. __ 

108. (Us^sw* . . . , ? > ^>y^ ) They feel ashamed of men 477 and not feel 
ashamed of Allah, 478 whereas He is 479 present with them when by night they 
plan together of: discourse which does not please Him; and Allah is ever an 
Encompasser of what they do 48 ° 

109. (y^S • . • .. itfjU) Lo ' it is you 481 who have contended for them in 
the life of this world-,* 481 then who will contend for them with Allah on the Day 
of Judgement or who will be their champion ? 

110. (L4sk."y . . . ^+ A And he who works an evil 483 or wrongs his own 
soul and thereafter begs forgiveness of Allah. 484 shall find Allah Forgiving, 
Merciful. 4 * 5 

111. (L*<a. . . . .*#••) And he who earns a sin, only against his own 
soul earns it; 488 and Allah is ever Knowing, 487 , Wise. 488 

112. (U^^ . . . ^ 5 ) And he who earns a vice 480 or a sin 488 and there- 
after 481 casts it on an innocent one, 492 has certainly borne a calumny 483 and a 
manifest sin. 

477. (who are in reality as powerless as themselves). 

478. i. e. 9 the Omniscient, the Omnipotent, 

479. (as ever). 

480. (so it is He alone who ought to be feared). 

481. (O Muslims!). \ 

482. This refers to the unsuspecting neutral Muslims who had assembled 
before the Prophet to defend and support Bashir, the offender. 

483. (toothers). 

484. (in the way prescribed). 

485. (so Bashir and his accomplices ought to have asked Divine forgiveness 
in the proper way). 

486. t. *., hurts himself and not others. This makes immediate penitence on 
his part the more necessary. 

IV. Surat-ul-Nisa . 365 

487. (so He is aware of every sin and sinner). 

488. (so that His punishments are suited to every individual case) . 

489. (relatively small). 

490. (grave or heinous). 

491 . (instead of asking forgiveness) ... . 

492. (as did Bashir and his associates). 

493. Calumny, denoting all the unjust accusations which have the effect of 
damaging or lowering another's reputation, is alvvays a prominent feature of 
a depraved society. Islam condemns it in the strongest terms, so that it may not raise 
its head even in forms too subtle to be reached by the arms of law. 

366 Part V 




113. (t. t . A ftj> . . . jyA Were not the grace of Allah and His mercy on 
thee, 494 a party of them had surely resolved to mislead thee, 496 whereas they 
mislead not but themselves; 496 and they shall not be able to hurt thee in aught. 497 
And Allah has sent down to thee the Book and wisdom, 498 and has taught thee 499 
what thou knowest not ; and the grace of Allah on thee is ever mighty. 600 

114. (L*Iac . . • ^ 51) No good 501 is there in much of their whispers 602 
except in him who commands charity or kindness or reconciliation among man- 
kind; 503 and he who does this, seeking the goodwill of Allah, 504 him We will 
presently give a mighty wage. 

115. (!^u^4 . . . ~# .) And he who opposes the Messenger after the 
truth has become manifest to him and follows other way than that of the belie- 
vers, 606 him We will let follow 606 that to which he has turned 607 and him We will 
roast in Hell- — an evil retreat! 


■116- (U*^ • • . ^0 Verily Allah shall not forgive that aught be asso- 
ciated with Him, 608 and He shall forgive all else 609 to whom He will, 610 and he 
who associates aught with Allah has certainly strayed far away. 511 

117- (Uj^ . . , ■ . A They 512 invoke not beside Him but females, 613 and 
they invoke not but a Satan rebellious. 614 

118. (L*j>jL4 . . . <a*j) Allah has accursed him, 615 and he. said : 516 1 will 
surely take 617 of Thy creatures a portion allotted; 518 

494. (in this instance, as always, O Prophet !) 

495. (by causing thee to deliver an unsound judgment). 

496. i. e., as they have failed in their unholy attempt in the past, so also 
they shall fail in the future. 

497. (in this respect) i. e., they shall not be able to cause thee to fall into 
error and they shall not succeed in wringing from thee a wrong verdict. 

IV. Surat-ul-Nisa 3Q7 

498. (and it is impossible for error to co-exist with these Divine gifts). 

499. (of higher truths). 

500. It was this unvarying and constant Divine grace which made it impos- 
sible for any one to. lead the Holy Prophet .astray. 

.501. u e. , merit or virtue. ; 

502. The hypocrites in thieir secret counsels mostly talked in whispers. The 
pronoun ^ refers to the multitude of mankind. 

503. (and to effect these ends have to counsel in secret). 

504. (and not with an unworthy or ignoble motive). Note the emphasis 
Islam lays on the Tightness of motives, on the purity of the springs of action. 

505. This 'way of the believers* includes dress, food, personal appearance, 
and many other habits and customs generally believed to lie outside the path of 
religion and spirituality. And that the Muslims have, or, at any rate, till very 
recently have had, a definite and distinctive culture of their own goes without 
saying. 'Up to the nineteenth century was generally possible to recognise 
Muhammad ans by their external appearance. They felt that they were heirs of a 
culture which was bound up with their creed, and they wished to preserve the 
characteristic marks of their civilization. So persistent has been the influence of 
this distinctive Muslim culture that a strong sense of corporate unity may often 
survive the disappearance of intellectual assent to the dogmas of the faith and may 
serve as a social bond long after faith is dead/ (Arnold, Islamic Faith, p. 48). 

506. (in this world without let or hindrance). 

507. i.e., to the ways that are not of the believers, 'The imitation of 
outward appearance leads, by degrees, to a corresponding assimilation of the mental 
disposition . . . Only very superficial people can believe that it is possible to imitate 
a civilization in its external appearance, without being at the same time affected by 
its spirit. A civilization is not an empty form only, but a living energy. The 
moment we begin to accept its form, its internal currents and dynamic influences set 
to work in ourselves and mould slowly, imperceptibly our whole mental attitude/ 
(Asad, op. cit., pp. 83-84).. 

508. (either in His Person or in His Attributes). Note the unique and 
unmistakable insistence with which the Holy Qur'an follows this one theme, the 
absolute unity of God. Seen. 160 above. 

509. (either altogether or after some initial punishment). 

510. (in accordance with His universal Plan). 

511. (from the right path, and so eternal damnation must be his natural 

512. i. e., the infidels in general, and Arab pagans in particular. 

513. i. e., female deities; goddesses. It was not only the Arabs who 
worshipped as 'daughters of God' angels and certain of their images, but many 
divinities throughout the world, including the sun, the moon, and the 'Great 

368 Part- V 

Mother/ have been construed as feminine, and the cult of goddesses has been almost 
universal. 'The emotional side of Semitic heathenism was always very much 
connected with the worship of female deities, partly through the associations of 
maternity, which appealed to the purest and tenderest feelings, and partly through 
other associations connected with woman, which too often appealed to the sensuality 
so strongly devleoped in the Semitic race/ (Robertson Smith, Religion of the Semites, 
p. 59). And as to other religions :— In the religious imagination and devotion of the 
Cretans the goddess was markedly predominant over the God.' (UHW. II, p. 1365). 
'The characteristic which specially distinguishes the Anatolian religion is its 
conception of the Divine Being as the mother, not the father, of mankind ...... 

The God, the male element in the Divine nature, was conceived as a secondary 
figure to the Great Mother/ (DB. V, p. 122). 'The goddess was the fountain and 
source of human life. The principles on which that life must be lived emanated 
from her/ (ERE. IX, p. 905). Among the Hindus of south India, who mostly 
worship nondescript local village deities, 'these local deities are nearly all of the 
female, not the male, sex/ (EBr. XI, p'. 577). 'Amongst many primitive peoples, 
and at the present time in a large number of less developed cults, goddesses occupy 
important places in.the pantheon/ (ERE. V, p. 827). «^Ut a I so signifies inanimate 
things as trees and stones and wood*. (LL) 

514. i. e., this goddess-worship is, in effect, nothing but devil-worship. 

515. (for his rebellion) 

516. (at the time of his expulsion from the Heaven) . 

517. (by seducing them). 

518. i. *., limited in number ; determined in regard to time. 

IV. Surat-ul-Nisa 369 



119- (U**<* • ♦ • O and sure, V ' wi " ,ead them astray, §1 * and I will fill 
them with vain desires, 520 and I will bid them so that they will slit the ears of the 
cattle, 521 and I will bid them so that they will alter the creation of Allah. 522 And 
he who takes Satan instead of Allah, for a friend, 523 shall surely suffer a loss 
manifest, 524 

120. (K yi . . . <*&^) S atan makes them promises 525 and fills them with 
vain desires, and Satan pro -rises them but vain desires. 

121. h^xs?.* . . .cjUJJ) These: 526 their resort shall be Hell and they 
shall not find an escape therefrom. 

122. (pj . . . .vj&L) And those who believe and work righteous works 
soon We shall admit them to Gardens beneath which the rivers flow as abiders 
therein for ever : promise of Allah, true. 527 And who is more truthful than Allah 
in speech, 

123. (\yx~aS . . . lJ mjJ) Not by your vain desires nor by the vain desires 
of the people of the Book 528 are the promise of Allah to be fulfilled ; he who 
works an evil shall be requited therefor, 529 and he shall not find, beside Allah, a 
protector nor a helper. 

519. (from the path of faith and rectitude). 

520. a. *., with false hopes and a craving to commit sins. 

521. The pagan Arabs used to slit the ears of camels and other animals 
invoking on them the names of their gods and goddesses. 

522. (by putting it to uses not intended by the creator). For example, the 
castration of slaves ; or, to take a modern instance, the artificial change of sex. The 
Amazons 5 practice of burning off their right breast may also be cited as a further 

523. (by obeying his commands instead of God's). 

524. i. e., eternal damnation. 

525. (under false pretences). 

526. i. *., the dupes of the devil. 

527. (as contrasted with the false pretences of the devil). 

528. (are these promises of God to be obtained). No mere wish and desire, 
shorn of acts and deeds, would avail anything. 

529. Or, c on account of it/ 

370 Part V 


124. (I^laJ •'••io^')) Anc * ^ e w ' 10 wor ^ s righteous works, male or 
female, 680 arid is a believer 1 -— these shall enter the Garden and shall not be 
wronged a speck, 631 - 

125. (tt^JUL •>••<£+ 5 ) And who can be better in religion than he who 
submits his face to Allah, 532 and is sincere, 638 and follows the faith of Ibrahim, 
the upright ? 684 And Allah has taken IbrShim for a friend 586 

126. (tia^si^ • ■. • *JU«) And Allah's is whatsoever is in the heavens and 
whatsoever is in the earth, 536 and Allah is ever an Encompasser of everything. 687 


127 (Ljile . . . lSj^ox^j 5 ) And they 638 ask thy decree 639 cdT^frning 
women. 640 Say thou : 'Allah decrees to you concerning them and so do the 
revelations that have been recited to you in the Book 641 concerning the orphan 
women 642 to whom you 643 do not give what is prescribed for them 544 and yet desire 
that you will wed them, and concerning the oppressed children, 545 and concern- 
ing this that you will deal 646 with the orphans in equity, 547 and whatsoever good 
you do, then verily Allah is ever Aware of it. 648 

530. This means that so far as spiritual merits are concerned there is no 
difference between man and woman. It has never been a subject of discussion 
among the Muslims whether woman possessed a soul or not. 

531. This, in a nutshell, is the Islamic law of Divine requital. The proviso 
*, *a* is vital, for without right faith 'righteous works' are meaningless. 

532. . 1. *., who has surrendered his entire self to God, and is obedient to 
God, both in word and deed. 

533. (not simulating faith). 

534. See P. 1, nn. 617, 618. 

535. Cf. the OT :— ' . . . the seed of Abraham, my friend/ (Is. 41 : 8). < . . . 
and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend/ (2 Ch. 20 : 7). But the English 
word 'friend* does scant justice to the idea of Ula* which, in Arabic, denotes the 

IV. Surat-ul-Nisa 371 

dearest or most sincere friend who has no rival in the love and reliance placed upon 

536. (so His sovereignty is all-comprehensive). 

537. (so His knowledge is all-comprehensive). 

538. */*., the people. 

539. O (Prophet !) '■ f. *., Divine decree received by the Prophet through 

540. i. -e. 9 concerning their dower, and their share in inheritance, 

541. (in the beginning of the Surah). Questions are referred back to the 
previous commandments with respect to all these subjects already dealt with in the 
opening verses of this chapter. 

542. Orphan girls, in pre-Islamic Arabia, with properties of their own, in 
charge of their wards, were of two descriptions. Either they happened to be 
handsome or not. If handsome, the guardians used to take them as their own wives, 
but not to pay them their dower in full. If otherwise, the guardians, in order to 
profit by the estate of their wards, suffered them not to seek husband elsewhere. 
Islam at one stroke did away with this dual injustice. 

543. (O guardians I) . 

544. i. *., their proper dower. < 

545. i. e., male children of tender age who also were subjected to many 
inequities and hardships in pagan days. Taking the Holy Qur'an as the work, not 
of God but of the Prophet, says a Christian writer : — 'One of the most commendable 
things which one finds in reading the Qpran is the solicitude which Muhammed 
shows for the young, and especially for such as have been deprived of their natural 
guardians. Again and again he insists upon a kind and just treatment being 
accorded to children. And working upon his words, the Muhammedan doctors 
have framed a system of rules concerning the appointment and duties of guardians 
which is most complete, and extending to the most minute details/ (Roberts, 
op. cit., pp. 40-41). 

546. (in all your dealings). 

547. 'The enactments of the Qpran have supplied the foundation for a 
most comprehensive law on the subject of guardians and wards. And since this law 
is thus based upon the express teaching of the Qpran, we find a greater agreement 
here between the Shiahs and Sunnis than in any other matter of law' (Roberts, op. 
cit., p. 43). 

548. (so ye ought to hasten towards good). 

372 Paat V 


<&> &&$&& # je8£©# 1^6* 2bt ® &3$ (***«£# #n 

128. (ly^a. • . ■■• ^l *) And if a woman apprehends refractoriness 549 or 
estrangement 550 from her husband/it shall be no blame on the pair if they effect 
between them a reconciliation, 551 and reconciliation is always good. 552 And 
sOuls 553 are engrained with greed. 554 And if you act kindly 555 and fear Him, 556 
then verily Allah is ever Aware 557 of what you dp. 

129. (I ^ > • • • u)J And you are not al^e 558 to deal equitably between 
wives, 569 even though you long to do so; but 560 incline not 561 an extreme inclin- 
ing, 562 so that you leave her 563 as it were suspended. 564 And if you effect a 
reconciliation 665 and fear Allah, 566 then Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful. 

130. (UjuCs^ ... ^!>) And if the pair must separate, 567 Allah shall 
enrich 568 each of them of His bounty ; 569 and Allah is dver Bountiful, Wise. 

131 . (U**^ « • • *JU *V And Allah's is whatsoever is in the heavens and 
whatsoever is in the earth. 570 And assuredly We enjoined those who were given 
the Book before you and yourselves : fear Allah, 571 and if you disbelieve, then 
Allah's is whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth, 572 and 
Allah is ever Self-sufficient, 673 Praiseworthy. 674 

549. or cruelty. 

550. (or desertion). ' ', ' 

551. (by foregoing, on the part of the wife, her dower in part or in full). 

552. (in any case than separation or incessant wrangling). 

553. (of mankind in general). 

554. (so that man is likely to consent to live with his wife, if she is prepared 
to part with some of her rights). 

555. (towards your wives : and do not coerce them into relinquishing their 

556. (in fulfiling the obligations to your wives). 

557. (so He is sure to reward you for your acts of equity and benevolence). 

558. (by your very constitution, Omen!) 

559. (when they are more than one in the matter of heart) i. e., to hold the 

IV. SOrat-ul-N/sa 373 

balance even in love and affection, which feelings are of involuntary nature and 
beyond human control. 

560. (for that reason). 

561. (to one wife, in your dealings, in your voluntary conduct, even when 
absolute j ustice and perfect equality aire impossible) . 

562. (to the exculsion of others), i. e. 9 be fair and considerate in respect of 
outer duties at least. The purport of the whole passage is: while unable constitu- 
tionally to observe perfect equality among your wives in respect of your feelings of 
love and attachment, you are not, on that account, by any means warranted in 
bestowing your favour, voluntary favour, entirely on the one, to the utter neglect of 
the others. Your duties you have to perform, so far as lies in your power, to every 
one of them. 

363. i. e., the less favoured wife. 

564. i. e., like the one neither in wedlock, nor divorced and free to marry 
someone else. This condemns the Christian institution of 'separation from bed and 
board' which ev^n when perpetual 'does not however give either party the right to 
♦remarry during the lifetime of the other/ (EBr. XVI, p. 952) 

565. i. e., if you improve your relations with the less favoured wives, and 
they willingly pardon you for your undutiful ways in the past. 

566. (in fulfilling your obligation towards them in the future). 

567. (in an approved, legal way after all the attempts at reconciliation 
have failed) 

568. (of each other). So none should regard himself or herself as 

569. i. *., He shall bless the wronged party either with a better match or 
with peace of mind. 

570. The commands, therefore, of this Sovereign Lord are to be carried out 
most implicitly and in every little detail. 

571. This fear of God is the true basis of wisdom and all good actions. 
(See P. I, n. 182) 

572. (so you will disobey to your own peril, and cannot hurt this Sovereign 
Lord in the least). 

573. i, *., independent of all His creatures; standing in no need of service 
on the part of His creatures. His commands and injunctions are all for our own 

574. i. e.y Perfect in His essence and attributes. 

374 Part V 

132. (1^$* . . • xU •) And Allah's is whatsoever is in the heavens and 
whatsoever is in the earth, 675 and sufficies Allah as a Champion. 576 

133. (IjjiiJ •••<♦) i) " *"* e w '"»'-:H e can take you away, mankind ! 677 
and bring forward others. 678 And Allah is ever Potent over that. 579 

134. (\y&*x> . . . ^) He who seeks the reward of this world, 680 with 
Allah is the reward of this world and the* Hereafter, 581 and Allah is ever Hearing, 612 
Seeing. 683 


135. (\tff*6± • .-. t$jU) you who believe! be you maintainer of equity 584 
and bearers, of testimony 586 for Allah's sake 585 though against yourselves 587 
or your parents or kindred. 688 Be he 680 rich 590 or poor 591 Allah is nigher unto 
either; 692 so follow not the caprice, 593 lest you may deviate. 504 If you incline 596 or 
turn away, 596 then verily Allah is Aware of what you work. 597 

575. f. e., He alone is All-Mighty ; He alone is to be looked up to. 

576. (so why should His servants fear others, or look up to them for 
favours ?) 

577. So Powerful is He ! He can destroy everything without the slightest 
harm to Himself. 

578. t\ /., other creatures, or another race, to serve Him. 

579. (but purely out of His grace and beneficence He asks you, again and 
again, to observe His commands and to fulfil His law, entirely for your own 

580. (for his acts of devotion and piety). 

581. (how foolish is then to seek from Him the immediate rewards of this 
world only and to be indifferent to a reward that is infinitely more precious !) Note 
that it is not the desire to get riches of this world that is discouraged. Every one is 
quite at liberty to pray for, and strive after, health, prosperity, offspring and the 
like. It is the habit of seeking worldly rewards for acts of duty, devotion and piety that 

IV. Suxat-ul-Nisa 375 

is condemned. Duties to God and men are to be performed for their own sake 
entirely irrespective of abundant gains and rewards. 

582. (so He listens to your words and petitions). 

583. (so He is Aware of your motives and intentions). 

584. (in every dealing as a party, and in every decision as a judge). 

585. i. e., veracious and incorruptible in bearing testimony when any 
matter comes up before the tribunal. 

586. t. e., to win His approval and goodwill. 

587. i. e. y even though it may amount to an admission of your guilt. 

588. i. e., no fear of self-injury and no ties of love and kinship are to stand 
in the way of giving absolutely true evidence. 

589. i. e:, the party opposite. 

590. (so that you might be tempted to seek his favour). 

591. (so that you .might be moved by pity or compassion to shield him). 

592. (than you) i.e., the Creator has far stronger ties with the party 
concerned than you can possibly have; so allow not yourselves, to be influenced by 
.any extraneous considerations while tende'ring evidence. . 

593. (of your heart) i. e. x your inclination or prejudice. 

594. (from the truth). 'False testimony is not regarded as evidence by the 
Muhammedan jurists, as the very object of information is to disclose what occurred. 
In fact according to them false testimony or false evidence or false information 
would be a contradiction in terms/ (Abdur Rahiin, op. cit., p. 375). 

595. (from true testimony). 

596. (from tendering evidence at all). 

597. (so that you can by no means escape His punishment). 

376 Part V 

136. (U^jo • . . I^jIj) you who believe ! believe 598 in Allah 599 and His 
Messenger 600 and the Book He has sent down to His Messenger and the Book 
He sent down formerly ; and he who disbelieves in Allah and His angels and 
His books* and His messengers and the Last Day, has strayed far away. 

137- (lU*~ '■'• • • ^ -Verily those who believed and then disbelieved, and 
then 601 believed 602 and then 603 disbelieved, 604 and thereafter waxed in infidelity, 606 
Allah shall not forgive them nor guide them on the way. 606 

138. (L*j| ... ^/) Announce thou 607 to the hypocrites that theirs shall 
be a torment afflictive. 608 

1 39. (Ijuua."..'. .V #r »oJl) Those who take infidels, instead of the believers, 
for friends, 609 — do they seeV honour with them 610 ?— verily then honour is Allah's 
altogether. 611 

140. (l». t/r . . ... ^ \ And it has been revealed to you in the Book 612 that 
vyhen you hear Allah's revelations being disbelieved in and mocked at, do not sit 
down with them 613 until they plunge into a discourse other than that ; for, then, 614 
you would surely become like unto them. 615 Verily Allah is about to gather 
hypocrites and infidels in Hell together— 616 . 

598. (perfectly, in full and complete faith, and in every little detail). There 
is no phase of a Muslim's life which his religion leaves untouched. Nothing that 
he does or even thinks lies outside the scope of his religion. 

599. i. *., in His essence and attributes. This is the first and foremost 
article of faith, the rest of the articles following in the verse. 

600. i. e., the Prophet Muhammad ; the apostle par excellence. * 

601. (Once again). 

602. (but this time again they did not stick to the faith, or else their sin of 
apostacy would have been condoned). 

603. (once again). 

604. (to return no more to Islam) 

N. Surat-ul'Nisa 377 

605. (as did certain waverers in the early days of Islam, going over again 
and again to paganism and ending their life in infidelity). 

606. (to Paradise). 

607. (O Prophet). 

608. (in , the Hereafter) . 

609. This refers to such of the hypocrites as could not even keep up appear- 
ances, and mixed freely with the open enemies of Islam. 

610. i. e., is that their motive in cultivating the friendship of the pagans ? 

611. He is the fountain of all honour and its' sole dispenser. 

612. (O believers!) Gf. Surat-ul-An'am, verse 68, revealed prior to this 


613. i. e., the scoffers and blasphemers, 

614. i, e.y in case you do not withdraw from such company. 

615. (in point of sinfulness). 

616. The guilt of both being the same, the punishment must also be 


378 Part V 

141. (***«, . . . ^^3!) Those who wait about you. 617 If then there 
is victory for you 018 from Allah, they say : 'were we not with you 7 619 ' And if 
there is a portion for the infidels, they say: 620 'did we 621 not gain mastery over 
you 622 and did we 623 not keep you back from the believers? 624 Allah shall 
judge 626 between you 826 on the Day of Judgment, and Allah shall not make 627 a 
way for the infidels against the believers. 628 


142. (tt^JL3 . . • .|) Verily the hypocrites would beguile Allah, 629 whereas 
it is He who beguiles them 030 and when they stand up to prayer, they stand up 
languidly, 631 making a show to the people, 632 and they remember Allah 633 but 
little. 684 

143. (t x **» • . . ^judji*) Wavering between this and that, 635 neither for 
this nor for that; 636 and he whom Allah sends astray, 637 for him thou wilt not 
find a way. 638 

144. (Uu** . . . Ifcjlj) ° y° u who believe ! do not take infidels, 639 
instead of believers, for friends. Would you give Allah a manifest authority 
against you ? 640 

.6.17. (that some misfortune befall you, and long for it). 

618. (in the war). 

619. (so give us our share of the booty). ' 

620. (to the infidels taking advantage of the occasion). 

621. This 'we' refers to the total Muslim army with which the hypocrites 
used to remain in contact for appearance sake. 

622. (and had we not it in our power to slay you). 

623. i. e. 9 the hypocrites. 

624. (by our deserting the Muslim army or by our effort to dishearten 
them). The hypocrites did not fail to take advantage of temporary pagan successes, 
and used to say to them : we were in the Muslim ranks on purpose to protect you 
when they were overpowering you. 

IV. Surat-ul-Nisa 379 

625. (in a demonstrable, practical way). 

626. m i. e. y the believers on the one hand and the open and secret disbe- 
lievers on the other. 

627. (in the final judgment). 

628. (the believers entering their abodes of eternal Bliss and the infidels their 
abode of eternal perdition). 

629. (by the lip-profession of their faith, and by the suppression of their 
heartfelt denial and defiance). 

630. Or 'requites them for their deceit'. ilikouJL* f*s\aa* *lU* (Rgh). 

631. (since they have no faith in prayer and since motive force in their case 
is entirely wanting). 

632. (in order that they may be counted as Muslims). 

633. (even with their tongue and outwardly). 

634. i. e., of real, genuine faith they have none, but even by way of 
a flfectation they make but a poor show. 

635. t. *., vacillating between faith and infidelity. 

636. i. e.> they belong neither to the Muslims wholly, but only in appear- 
ance, nor to the infidels wholly, but only at heart. 

637. (consequent on the individual's own will to go astray). 

638. (of deliverance, O reader!) The case of these deliberate and wilful 
offenders is hopeless, no Muslim need be solicitous on their account* 

639. (of either description, whether overt or covert). 

640. (by making friends with the enemies of Islam). 

380 Part V 

145. (!wl> . . . Lj'l) Verily --the hypocrites shall be in the lowest abyss of 
the Fire, 641 and thou 842 wilt not find for them a helper— 

)f46. (U*Ite • • ?0 Exce Pt th °s& who will.. yet repent 643 and amend 644 
and hbld fast by Allah and make their religion solely for Allah. These 645 then 
shall be 646 with the believers, 647 and soon shall Allah give the believers a mighty 

147. (U*JU .".'. JUij U) What will Allah 648 do with your torment, if 
you, return thanks 649 and believe? 650 And Allah is ever Appreciative, 651 Knowing. 652 

641. (corresponding with their lowest moral depths), The hypocrites 'out- 
ward conformity, cloaking an apposition ill concealed, was more dangerous than 
open animosity/ (Muir, op: cit. 9 p. 182). 

642. . (O reader!). 

643. (of their hypocrisy). 

644. (their ways, specially their habit of playing false to the Muslims). 

645. (seekers of His goodwill and approval). 

646. (in Paradise). 

647. i. e.y those who have been believers all along. 

648. —-the Benign One who is so unlike the malevolent, vindinctive deities 
of paganism, and to whom surely infliction of pain is no pleasure — 

649. (to your Lord for his countless favour, O ungrateful men !) 

650. (in His religion, which is the only approved way of expressing your 
gratitude). This clearly shows that the attributes of mercy, compassion and loving 
kindness are part and parcel of His essence, while His retributive justice is only 
called forth by the handiwork of the rebellious creature. 

651. (so He bestows immense reward for small services, and multiplies them 
to His servants). 

652. (so no service, however, trivial, can escape His notice). 

IV. Surat-ut-N/sS. 381 

J>tJrt__ ■ . .iill^.^ 

ijfe m*%\ ?$&£<&fc&$m>& <i>\m* w* ©**#. 


148. (UxJLc . . . \^s^j -il) Allah does not approve of the uttering of harsh 
words, 1 except by one who has been wronged; 2 and Allah is ever Hearing, 3 
Knowing. 4 

' 149 0**^ • • • ii>0 Whether y° u disclose a good or conceal it or 
pardon an evil, 5 surely Allah is ever Pardoning, 6 Potent. 7 

150 -(txj^ . ; . ^l) Verily those who disbelieve in Allah and His mes- 
sengers 8 and would differentiate between Allah and His messengers 9 and say: 
some we believe in and others we deny, and who would take a way in-between 
this and that. 10 

151 . ((.u^ . . . lJjU Si They are the disbelievers in very truth, 11 and We 
have prepared for the disbelievers a torment ignominious. 

152. (La&.) . . . .-j-<SJ! 5 ) And as to those who believe in Allah and His 
messengers and do not differentiate 12 between any of them, soon We shall give 
them their wages; and Allah is ever Forgiving, 13 Merciful. 14 

1. (respecting any one). This bans all forms of calumny and slander, and 
interdicts the utterance or dissemination of all statements likely to defame others — 
apart from their truth or falsity — unless it be for some justifiable reasons. 

2. (and he is seeking public redress). 

3. (who readily attends to the cry of the oppressed). 

4. (who is well aware of the oppressor's guilt). 

5. (instead of seeking revenge). 

6. So the covering of an evil with pardon by the aggrieved party is highly 

7. i. e., Able to inflict any punishment He chooses. 

8. (by separating Him from His apostles). 

9. (by professing to believe in Him in the abstract, but rejecting His 
Law as propounded by His prophets and apostles). 

382 Part VI 

10. (accepting certain prophets as true and rejecting the others). 

11. Their profession of faith in some of the Divine messengers to the 
exclusion of others would be of no avail ; and no system of eclecticism in religion 
Would ever do. Note the emphasis of the Holy Qur'an on the universality of 

12« (so far as the fact of their messengership is concerned), 

13. (so He will forgive the misdeeds of the new converts, which they 
committed prior to their acceptance of Islam). 

14. (so He will amplify and multiply His rewards). 

IV. Surat-ul-Ni$a 383 

r^ffi __ -.-___ *'*&&• 


153. (Ijl^m •■-. .-U^JULo) The people of the Book 15 ask thee M to bring 
down a Book 17 to them from the heaven. But surely they asked Mus5" a thing 
even greater than that; they said: 'show us God openly'. Thereupon thunderbolt 
overtook them for their ungodliness. 19 Then 20 they took a calf 21 after there had 
come to them the evidences. 22 Even so We pardoned that, and We invested 
MusH with manifest authority. 28 

154. (Ua*JU . . . ■ tJUi) «) We ^'sed the Tur over them for this bond.* 4 
And We said to them: enter the gate 25 prostrating yourselves: Arid We said to 
them: do not violate the Sabt, 26 and We took from them a firm bond. 27 

155. (iui5 . . . L*i) Accursed are they then for their breach of the bond 
and their rejection of the commandments of Allah 28 and their putting of the 
prophets* 9 to death without justification, and their saying: our hearts are sealed. 8 - 
Ayel Allah 31 has set a seal upon them for their disbelief, 32 so they believe rrot 
but a little. 33 

1 56. (Uxb* . . . +*yfi£j\) And for thelr blasphemy 34 and for the uttering 
against Maryam 35 a grievous calumny. 36 

15. i. *., the Jews. 

16. (O Prophet!) 

1 7. (written in a celestial character as a miraculous evidence of thy mission). 

18. (their own prophet). 

19. (and arrogance). See P. I, nn. 228, 229. 

20. A here marks off the two narratives, and does not denote sequence of 


21. (for worship). See P. I, n. 217. 

22. (and proofs of Divine Unity, leaving not the slightest ground for 
polytheism and idolatry). 

23. (and great prestige ; yet neither Our incessant favours nor his great 
prestige would cure this people of its arrogance and impiety). 

384 Part VI 

24. i.e., with a view to obtain their consent for the bond. See P. I, 
nn. 283, 284. 

25. *. *., the outer gate of a certain city. See P. I, n. 239. AH these 
events refer to the well-known incidents and episodes in Jewish. history. 

26. See P. I, n, 291. 

27. (to the effect that they would implicity obey the commandments) 

28. (in the long course of their history). See P. I, nn. 267. 

29. (of their own race) See P. I, nn. 268,*269. 

30. See P. I, n. 381. 

.'■31. (as the Ultimate Cause of all causes). 

32. (and defiance). Note that the setting of seal on their hearts is a 
necessary consequence of their own initial action— their deliberate and persistent 
flouting of the Divine truths. 

33. (and that 'little' belief is of no avail). 

34. This particular blasphemy of the Jews consisted in their rejection of 
Jesus (on him be peace !). v 

35. The saintly mother of Jesus (peace be on both of them !) 

36. t. e.y going to any length in accusing her of immorality * In the ancient 
Jewish 'Life of Jesus' (the Toldoth Jeshu) occurs the following :— 'Now over against 
the door of her house there dwelt a man of fair appearance (a warrior), Joseph the 
son of Pandera : he cast his eyes upon her. [Seven verses are here omitted which 
relate the seduction of Mary by Joseph, she being under the impression that he was 
her betrothed, until he came in later, and the mistake was discovered], ('According 
tethe Hebrews/ p. 35) The. outrageous slander is supported by the Talmud. 

IV. SVrat-ul-Nisa 385 

157. (UjJU . • • iVO ^ nc * * or t ' ie ' r sa y' n 9 :27 we put. to death the 
Messiah 'Isa, 38 son of Maryam, a messenger of Allah 3 * Yet they killed him not, 40 
nor did they send him to the cross, 41 but it was made dubious to them. 42 And 
surely those who differ therein 43 are in doubt about it; 44 they have no true know* 
ledge thereof; they but follow a conjecture; 46 of a surety they killed him not. 

.158, (Lj^ . . •♦ ]S) But Allah raised him 46 unto Himself, 47 and Allah is 
ever Mighty, 48 Wise 49 

159. (Jaa^A . * ^l )) Anc ! there is none arnong the people of the Book 50 
but shall surely belieye in him 51 before his death, 62 and on the Day of Judgement 
he shall be a witness against them. 63 

1 -60, (!>*£$ •'..•'*!&£) So because of the wrong-doing 64 on the partof 
those who are Judaised We forbade to them 66 the good things that had been 
allowed to them and also because of their keeping away from Allah's way. 66 

T61 . u*j| .-. . f*iaJ 5 ) And also because of their taking the usury that 
they were prohibited, 67 and also because tit their consuming the riches of men 
unlawfully. 68 And for the infidels among them We have prepared a torment 
afflictive. 69 v 

3.7. (with great boasting and bragging, as if the deed was creditable). 

38. It were not only the Christians who made the Jews accountable for 
the 'death' of Jesus, but the Jews themselves spoke with pride and delight of 
their achievement. ' . . . . Then all the men of Jerusalem being well-armed and 
mailed, captured Jesus And when his disciples saw that he was captive in their 
hands, and that it was in vain to fight, they took to their legs* and lifted up their 
voices and wept bitterly. And the men of Jerusalem waxed stronger and conquered 
the bastard, the son of a woman in her separation, with his multitude, slaying many 
of them, while the rest fled to the mountains/ (According to the Hebrews, p. 46, £n.). 

39. The epithet is appended to emphasise the true rank and status of 
Jesus, which is in-between the two blasphemous extremes of Judaism and 

W. Surat-u/-N/'se 387 

55. {by way of penalty). 

56. Not content with their own infidelity and impiety, the Arab Jews 
dissuaded many pagans also from joining Islam. 

57. 'If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou 
shalt riot be to him as a usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury. 3 (Ex. 
22 : 25). 'But fear thy God ; that thy brother may live with thee. Thou shalt not 
give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase/ (Le. 25 : 
36, #?). 

58. i. e._> by methods forbidden in the Mosaic Law. 

59. (in the Hereafter over and above their punishment in this world). 

388 Part VI 

162. (U^kc . . . *.<)) But of them the well-grounded in the knowledge 60 
and believers 61 believe in what has been sent down to thee 62 and what has been 
sent down before thee and the establishes of prayer and the givers of the poor- 
rate and the believers in Allah and the Last Day it is those to whom We shall 

soon give a mighjy wage. 


163. l\yy } . . . f.;i) Surely We have revealed to thee, 63 even as We 
revealed to Nuh 6!M and the the prophets after him, 64 and as We revealed to 
Ibrahim 64 - 4 and Isma'Tl 64 * and ls'hHq 64 <? and Y'aqub 64D and the tribes, 66 and 1sa iM 
and Ayub 66 * and Yunus 65C and Harun 65 ^and SulaimSn; 65 * and to .DSud i6/r We 
gava a Scripture. 66 

164. (UjJUcj . . . 1^)5). And We re vealed to messengers of some of whom 
We have narrated to thee before 67 and of others of whom We have not narrated 
to thee; 68 and to MusS Allah spoke directly. 69 

1-65. (u^<^ • . • iu%) We sent all these messengers as bearers of glad 
tidings 70 and warners 71 in order that there be no plea for mankind against Allah 7 * 
after the messengers; and Allah is ever Mighty, 73 Wise. 74 

60. (of faith ; and therefore well-disposed to Islam) 

61. . 1. e., such of the Jews as have already embraced Islam. 

62. (O Prophet!). 

63. (O Prophet!). 

63- A. Noah of the Bible ; the progenitor of all Prophets. 

64. The similarity consists in the essence and origin of all Revelation being 
Divine, and not in its scope. 

64-A. Abraham of the Bible (2160-1985 B.C.) 
64-B. Ishmael of the Bible (2070-1933 B.C.) 
64-C. Isaac of the Bible (2060-1880 B.C.) 
64-D. Jacob of the Bible (2000-1850 B.C.) 

IV. SUrat-ul-Nisa 389 

65. *. <?., minor prophets in the twelve tribes of the Children of Israel. 
65-A. Jesus of the Bible (6 B.C.-29 C.E.) 

65-B. Job of the Bible. 

65 C. Jonah of the Bible (782-740 B.C.) 

65-D. Aaron of the Bible; Elder brother of the Prophet Moses. 

65-E. Solomon of the Bible (d. 932 B.C.) 

65-F. David of the Bible (d. 962 B.C.) 

66. .y: signifies 'Any writing or book, on any divine book with which it 
is difficult to become acquainted. V (LL) It may also mean the Book of Psalms. 

67. (through the Qur'an). 

68. Several of the prophets are mentioned by name in the Qur'an while 
others are not. 

69. This emphasizes the special character of Mosaic revelation. 

70. (of eternal bliss of the believers). 

71. (to the infidels). 

72. i. *., lest men should have an excuse before God that they had not 
been sufficiently forewarned. 

73. ue.y Absolute Master ; justified in dealing with his creatures in any 
way He likes. 

74. (so that He does not leave the slightest excuse for the infidels). 


Part VI 

166 - 0***& • • • ^0 fi^ 75 Allah bears witness 76 by what He has sent 
down to thee 77 He sent it down with His own knowledge 78 and the angels also 
bear witness; 79 and suffices Allah as a Witness. 

167. (!iV*ju .. . . h 1 ) Surely those who disbelieve 80 and keep others from 
the way of Allah, have strayed far away. 81 

168. (UjjL- • • • ^0 Surely those who have disbelieved and done 
wrong* 8 * AHatete not one to forgive them nor to guide them to any way. 83 

169. (u^j .. . . ft) Except the way to Hell as abiders therein for ever; 84 
and this is ever easy with Allah.** 

170. (UjsX=^ ... 1$jU) mankind ! assuredly there has come to you the 
Messenger with the truth 86 from your Lord; so believe 87 in Him that it may be 
well for your. 88 And if you disbelieve, then surely Allah's is whatever is in the 
heavens and the earth; 88 and Allah is ever Knowing, 90 Wise. 91 

75. The verse proceeds to establish the truth of the holy Prophets's 

76. (to thy apostleship) i. *., He establishes it in the eyes of mankind. 

77. t. e. 9 a Book so unique that its uniqueness alone is enough to 
substantiate its claim of being the Word of God. 

78. i. *., perfected by His knowledge. 

79. (to the truth of the Prophet's mission) . 

80. t. *., continue in their unbelief in spite of powerful arguments to the 

81. (from the truth). This is their position in this world—wandering, lost 

82. (to others by keeping them away from Islam). 

83. Cf. the OT :— *So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust : and 
they walked in their own counsels/ (Ps. 81 : 12). 

And the NT :— 'Wherefore God also gave them up to uncieanness through 

/V. SQrat-u/-Ms3 391 

.the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves/ 
.'Ro. 1 ; 24) 

84. This snail be their plight in the Hereafter. 

85. t. e. y causing Him no exertion or difficulty. 

86. *\ *.,' with rightful claims and with perfect arguments. Mark once 
again the universality of the Prophet's mission. The address is to mankind in 
general, not to the Arab nation. 

87. (iahiin and his mission). 

88. (both in this world and the Next). Notice for the hunderedth time 
that Islam is.all for our own good, both material and spiritual. 

89. (so it is you who shall suffer, and He cojtild not be harmed in any way 
by your denial and unbelief). 

90. (so He knows the guilty at this very moment). 

91. (so he defers their punishment in consonance with His universal plan, 
to the Hereafter). 

392 Part VI 

^■■■■■■■■■■^■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■^ . i 


171. (iu5 . . • Jj&Ij) people of the Book! * do not exceed the bounds 
in your religion; 93 and do not say of Allah save what is the truth 94 The Messiah 
1'sfi, son 6i Maryam, is but a messenger of Allah 96 and His word 96 - — -He cast it 
upon Maryam 97 - — -and a spirit 98 from Him. Believe therefore in Allah 99 and 
His messengers, 100 and do not say: 101 three. 102 Desist 103 that it may be well for 
you. Allah is but the One God; 104 hallowed be He that there should be upto 
Him a son! 106 His is whatever is in the heavens and the earth 106 and suffices 
Allah as a Trustee! 107 


172. (U**^ . . . „j) The Messiah 108 does not disdain that he should be 
a Servant of Allah, 109 nor do the angels brought near 110 to him. And he who 
disdains serving Him and is stiff-necked, soon 111 He shall gather them all unto 
Him. 112 

173. (\y^aS . . . Uti) Then as to those who have believed and worked 
righteous works He will give them their wages in full and will give an increase 113 
out of His grace. And as to those who disdained and were stiff-necked, He will 
torment them witha torment afflictive. And they shall not find for themselves, 
against Allah, a protector or a friend. 

1 ?4. ([xx+* . .. . 1$jIj) O mankind! there surely has come to you an 
argument 114 from your Lord and We have sent down to you a manifest light. 116 

92. Here it is the Christians who are meant. 

93. (by ascribing Godhead to Jesus). Referring to the 'offensive zeal of 
Eutychian and Jacobite partisanship* in regard to 'the sacred dogma of Trinity' 
in the Syrian Christianity of the Prophet's time, and to 'the worship of Mary 

exhibited in so gross a form as to leave the impression that she was held to 

be a goddess/laments a Christian student of Islam : — 'Lamentable, indeed, is the 
reflection that so small a portion of the fair form of Christianity was disclosed by 
the ecclesiastics and monks of Syria to the earnest inquirer; and that little, how 

IV. SUrat-ul-Nisa 393 

altered and distorted! . . ... We may well mourn that the misnamed Catholicism of 
the Empire thus grievously misled the master mind of the age, and through him 
eventually so great a part of the eastern world/ (Muir, op. cit. pp. 21-22). The 
Hellenization, the Romanization, in a word, the paganisation of the Christ's religion 
was complete by the time of the revelation of the Holy Qur'an. 

94. (and the first truth regarding God is that He is One without a 

95. (and not His son or incarnation, as you assert in your blasphemy). 
'According to the doctrine of the apostles at Jerusalem/ or original Christianity. 
'Jesus was the Christ as the anointed man, not as the incarnate Angel-Messiah born 
by a virgin, nor as the man united with the celestial Christ by the Holy Spirit .... 
These conceptions of an Angel- Messiah, or a double Messiah, were not recognized 
by the Massora, by Jesus, by the twelve apostles, or by Mahomed. ' (De Bunsen 0/>. 
cit., P. 14). See n. 39 above. 

96. i. e., born out of His word, without the ordinary, instrumentality of a 
father. See P. Ill, nn. 388, 414. 

97. i.e., He transmitted it to Mary by an angel. 

98. i. e., a being possessing soul from God direct. 

99. The One without a second ; the Eternal. 

100. (according to their true teachings) . 

101. When speaking and predicating of God. 

102. Trinity denotes the central doctrine of the Christian religion. -It 
means that God 'is three really distinct Persons, — the Father, the Son, and the 
Holy Ghost. Each of these Persons is truly the same God, and has all His infinite 
perfections, yet He is really distinct from each of the other Persons .... These 
Persons are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial, and deserve co-equal glory and 
adoration, which the Church expresses in the oft-repeated prayer: "Glory be to 
the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost." (CD. p. 973). The Book of 
Islam 'found in the dogma of Trinity what every emancipated thinker finds on 
impartial reflection — an absurd legend, which is neither reconcilable with the first 
principles of reason nor of any value whatever for our religious advancement. In 
the Brahmanic religion the Trimurti is also conceived as a "divine unity" made up 
of three persons — Brahma (the Creator), Vishnu (the Sustainer), and Shiva (the 
Destroyer)/ Haeckel, Riddle of the Universe, pp. 226, 233. "They divided the Divine 
Trinity into three persons, each one of them being God and Lord ; and thence a 
sort of frenzy has gone fourth into the whole of theology, and thus into the 

Church It is a frenzy, because the minds of men have been driyen by it into 

such a delirium, that they do not know whether there is one God, or whether there 
are three : there is one in the speech of lips, but three in the thought of the mind." 
(Swedenborg, The True Christian Religion, p. 5). 'The Nicene Creed really 'teaches 
three Divine Persons and denies three Gods, and leaves us to guess what else is a 

394 Part VI 

Divine Person but a God or a God but a Divine Person/ (Newman, Phases of Faith, 
p. 33). 

103. (from holding a doctrine so flagrantly blasphemous and preposterous). 

104. (with no second or third Person to share His substance and attributes) 

105. i. *., to impute fatherhood to Him is most derogatory to Him. The 
expression c son of God/ even if used by Jesus, 'meant no more than a man who 
subordinates himself and his own will to God, as a human son does to his human 
father, and may in consequence feel assured that he has God's love, in the way in 
which Jesus himself has expressed it : Love your enemies and pray for them that 
persecute you, that ye may be sons of your Father which is in heaven.' (Schmiedel, 
Jesus in Modern Criticism, p. 40). 

106. That is the true relationship that exists between all the creatures and 
their Maker and not that of sonship and fatherhood. 

107. i.e., He is the sole Arbiter, the Disposer of all affairs, needing no 
Redeemer or Mediator. 

108. (himself). 

109. t. /., a true worshipper and obedient servant of God. Cf. Christ's 
own words as recorded in the Christian Gospels ; 'My meat is to do the will of him 
that sent me, and to finish his work* (Jn. 4: 34). c If ye keep my commandments, 
ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and 
abide in his love/ (15 : 10). And Peter, an apostle, has in the course of a long 
address used the following words : 'Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God 
among you . . . . ' (Ac, 2 : 22). These words, according to the best Biblical 
scholars, describe Jesus as he was known and regarded by his contemporaries. 
'He was "found in fashion as a man," that is, in all particulars which presented 
themselves to outward observation. He appeared and behaved as one of. the 
human race. He "was made man." The Gospels leave no room for doubt as to 
the completeness with which these statements are to be accepted . . . . He not only 
made no claim to "omniscience : He distinctly waived it .... There is still less 
reason to predicate omnipotence of f Jesus. There is no indication that he ever 
acted independently of God, or as an independent God. Rather does he 
acknowledge dependence upon God, by his habit of prayer and in such words as 
"this kind goeth not forth save by prayer." He even repudiates the ascription 
to himself of goodness in the absolute sense in which it belongs to God alone/ 
(EBr; 11th Edi. XIII, p. 24). 

110. This knocks the bottom out of the Christian angelolatry. In the 
Catholic Cktechism one comes across the following daily prayer addressed to 'Our 
Angel Guardian:' 'O Angel of God, to whose care I am committed ! enlighten arid 
direct me, defend and govern me this day, and during my whole life ! Amen.' 
This iadoration of the angels 'can be traced to the earliest ages of the Church. We 
venerate their excellence and petition their ministrations. The month of October 

IV. Sdrat-ui-Nis* 395 

is specially dedicated to them and the feast of all the angels is celebrated in common 
with that of Michael, on 29th Sept/ (CD; p. 44), 4bo see P. Ill, n. 586. 

111. f. e. y on the Day of Judgment. 

11 2. to answer for their misdeeds). 

113. (superabundantly ; over and above what is their due), 

114. (in the 4 . person of the holy Prophet). U K is 'the finest, strongest, or 
most valid, evidence or proof, which is such as even necessarily implies truth, or 
veracity, as its consequence, or concomitant/ (LL.) 

115. *V*v, the Holy Qur'an. 

396 __ **. VI 

175. (UxaXm*^ . . . Uti) Then as to those who believe in Allah 116 and 
hold fast by Him, 117 soon He will admit them 118 to His mercy and grace and will 
lead them to Himself by a path straight. 

176 - (i*U • • • uy^Xtt-^) They 119 ask thee for a pronouncement. 120 Say 
thou: Allah pronounces thus in the matter of one without father 121 or child; 122 if 
a person perishes and has no child 123 but has a sister, 114 hers will be the half of 
what he has left; 125 and he will be her heir 126 if she has no child: 127 if there be 
two 128 sisters, then theirs shall be 129 two-third of what he has left; and if there be 
both brothers and sisters, 130 then male will have as much as the portion of two 
females. 1 * 1 Allah explains this to you 182 lest you err, 188 and Allah is Knower of 
everything. 134 • — 

116. i. *., in His unity, absolute and unalloyed. 

117. L e. 7 by His law and commandments. 

118. e. *., the believers in Him, His apostle and His Book. 

119. f. e. y certain people. 

120. (regarding certain cases of inheritance, O Prophet!). 

121. (and mother). 

122. (male or female). 

123. (and neither father nor mother). 

124. (or a half-sister) 

125. (of course, after debts and funeral expenses have been disbursed, and 
the other half will go to the residuaries, if any ; if there is no residuary, it also will 
revert to the sister). 

126. (inheriting her whole substance, in case the sister predeceases him). 

127. (and neither father nor mother). 

128. (or more). 

129. (between them). 

130. (several in number, as heirs). 

131. See P. IV, n. 548. 

132. (these precepts regarding succession). 

133. (from ignorance). | in the phrase is synonymous with fl£j . 

134. (including all human needs and exigencies). 



(See Surat-ul-Nisa\ v. 3, P. IV, n. 498) 

So this is polygamy! And this is the much-maligned Holy Text, with 
necessary explanations in the parentheses. It recognizes monogamy as the ideal; 
but also allows polygyny as a safeguard against much greater social evils. The 
verse limits the number of wives to four, and permits no more. The injunction of 
course holds good for all times, but it was first promulgated at a time when poly- 
gyny, with no limit or restriction, was the law rather than the exception.* The 
word c polygamy* which every Christian mouth has been taught to pronounce with 
scorn, has in effect become, in the English language a synonym for almost unbridled 
gratification of sexual desire, and is now altogether tinged with disreputable 
associations. The institution, we are told in terms of pious horror, disorganises 
society, and strikes at the root of public morals, and that it is pre-eminently this 
evil that has more than counterbalanced any benefits that Islam may have 
conferred on humanity. 

Is the indictment, even in an appreciable degree, just ? The question may 
welFbe resolved into three sub-heads :— 

(t) Is polygyny unnatural ? 
(ii) Is it immoral ? 
(Hi) Is it irrational ? 

1. To answer the first question first. Is polygyny opposed to man's natural 
instinct? Is man, by nature or even by long-established habit, monogamous? 
Let the European anthropologists and sociologists of repute, themselves favouring 
and advocating monogamy, answer. c In general a gregarious life/ says the French 
savant, M. Letourneau, 'a life in association, favours polygamy/ Now man is 
surely the most sociable of animals, therefore he is much more inclined to polygamy* 
(Evolution of Marriage , p. 122). And further : — 'The most civilized nations must have 
begun with polygamy, and, in reality, it has been thus everywhere and always. In 
the various civilized societies, living or dead, marriage has commenced by being 
polygamous. It is a law which has few exceptions/ (ib. p. 134), Monogamy far 
from being defended on the score of its 'naturalness* no anthropologist of noterhas 
even maintained that monogamic marriage was natural to male human being. The 
evidence is ail the other way, and we learn on the best of authorities that c as an 
institution polygyny exists in all parts of the world/ (EBr. XIV, p. 949) and that 

♦Tolygamy was the rule among the Eastern peoples before Muhammad's time.' (Roberts, 
op.cit. 9 p. 8) 

39$ _ , a . _ . _ . , ^ , _ _ _■ 

it has flourished among the Hebrews, the Slavs, the Teutons, the Irish and the 
Indians; none of the Hindu law-givers ever restricting 'the number of wives a man 
is allowed to marry/ (ib m > XVIII, p. 186), One may choose to dub polygamous 
communities barbarians or savages, yet there is no denying the fact that a very large 
proportion of mankind has practised polygamy in the past, and is practising in the 
present, without any qualms of conscience, and the myth of monogamy being the 
normal marriage relationship has been continually exploded by the actual fact of 
man in all ages and in many places taking unto himself several wives. 'Man/, sa Y s 
GpRr Scott, 'is essentially polygamous, and ihe development of civilization extends 
this innate polygamy/ (History of Prostitution, p. 21). 

Even that acute observer, Professor Westermarck, has been led to remark :— 
'Among .pastoral peoples I have found none that can be regarded as strictly 
monogamous/ (op. ciL, p. 230). He adds that polygamy existed 'among most of -the 
Indo-European peoples, and among the ancient Slavs/ {ib., p* 234). 

McLennan , the famous author of Primitive Marriage, asks a question as plain 
as possible : 'What ancient nation can fie named that was originally monogamous V 
(quoted in Darwin's Descent of Man* p. 222). That man is in this respect, as in many 
other respects, essentially different from woman, has been well noted by the -students 
of biology. 'Woman is/ says Dr. Mercier, 'by nature a monogamist ; rrijari jhas " 
in him the element of a polygamist/ (Conduct and its Disorders Biologically Considered, 
pp. 292-293). And N. W. Tngalls, Associate Professor of Anatomy in one of the 
American Universities, has gone so far as to suggest a biological reason for 
polygyny :— 'Has man always been essentially monogamous or has he come up from 
a state often designated as promisetnty ? The availirble evidence points to the 
latter. As an animal, in his sexual make-up, and in his beginnings as far as we can 
reconstruct' them, he is anything but monogamous; and one "would have great 
difficulty in explaining, biologically, such a sudden change of he'aftV the transition 
from the harem to a single wife/ (Wile, Sex Life of the Unmarried %Mt, p. 88). 

2. So far with regard to the charge of 'unnaturalriess'. Next, : '% the insti- 
tution inherently immoral ? Is it revolting to the innate moral sense of hurnahity ? 
Was it iiriknbwii i to, or repudiated by Abraham, Jacob, Closes, Jesus arid other 
prophets arid recognised founders of religion in the East ? Trte answer ; whicli is 
neither dubius nor contestable, is that 'polygamy seems to have been a well- 
established institution, dating from the most ancient times arid extending to compa- 
ratively modern days. The law indeed regulated and limited this usage.- (JE. X, 
p»!20i). *Ih 'Biblical as in Talmudical times polygamy was a recognised institu- 
tion/ (III, p. 210). The Mosaic law, far from interdicting polygamy, encouraged 
it. ^Polygamy was the rule in Biblical days among the ancient Jews, and was 
permitted arid even enjoined in certain cases by the Mosaic law . . . It is nowhere 
forbidden, except to "bishops" in the New Testament (EBr. XXII^ p. 24) . The 
renowned Patriarchs practised it ; and so did the Judges, the Kings and the more 


spiritually-minded amongst the Jews. According to the EBi , a common Jew could 
take as many .as four wives, and a king up to eighteen. 'When the first wife proved 
childless, polygamy, to this extent at least, was regarded a necessity/ (EBi. c. 2946). 
In ancient India, in the age of great sages a plurality of wives was hot only allowed 
in theory but also practised. ' 'The practice of polygamy among the Vedic Indians 
is abundantly proved .by direct references in the Rig Veda and other texts, though 
in the main monogamy is recognized as normal. Iri the case of the king four wives 
are expressly mentioned ... The heroes and Brahmans of the epic are frequently 
represented as having several wives/ (ERE. VIII, p. 452). 

Again, is the practice repellent even to the entire modern conscience ? Is 
Christendom unanimous in condemning it ? What, then, about the Anabaptists 
and the Mormons who not only permit but advocate 'polygyny with much religious 
fervour. (EBr. XVIII, p. 187). And what about the sixteenth-century German 
'reformers' sanctioning second and third marriage in cei tain cases, and Schopen- 
hauer (d. 1860) commending the Mormons for 'throwing off the unnatural 
bondage of monogamy' and Edward Hartmann (d. 1906) laying down the proposi- 
tion that 'the natural instinct ofmaa is in favour of polygamy, and that of woman is 
in favour of monogamy ?' (Roberts, op. cit.> p. 9). In the admirable and succinct 
summing up of Professor Westermarck ' polygyny has been found even in Christian 
Europe . . .In the middle of the 6th century Diarmait, king of Ireland, had two 
queens and two concubines. Polgyny was frequently practised by the Merovingian 
kings, Charlemagne had two wives and many concubines; and one of his laws 
seems to imply that polygyny was not unknown even among priests. In later times 
Philip of Hesse and Frederick William II of Prussia contracted bigamous marriages 
with the sanction of the Lutheran clergy/ (EBr. XVIII, p. 186). 

Then, again, does polygyny necessarily connote a low status of womanhood 
and invariably assigns to the wives a position of inferiority and degradation ? And 
are co-wives always unhappy .?• The hypothesis is, on the face of it, untenable. 
Apart from the cases of thousands of the Muslim families spread all over the world, 
where co-wives live in perfect peace and contentment, under other simple cultures 
also where a patriarchal system is the order of the day, 'plural marriage is more 
often a matter of prestige or economics than of sex; and while there is a distinction 
of function as between man and woman . . . the woman will herself often urge her 
husband to take another wife, to increase the prestige of the family and to ease her 
own labour in supplying him with food/ (EMK, V, p. 2340). 

3. Lastly, is the institution of polygyny utterly 'irrational' —-so clearly 
opposed to sound reason and commonsense that under no possible scheme of things 
it shall be feasible ? Let the answer, once more, come not from the Muslim East 
but from the Christian West. 

What about the problem of 'surplus women'? What solution other than 
'part-time marriage' has yet the ingenuity of the European mind evolved ? 'In our 

400 ^__^_________-_-___-_— 

own century/ says Sir George Scott referring to England, 'there have been not a 
few who, noting the preponderance of marriageable women over men since the 
Great War, have considered the feasibility of introducing some sort of secondary 
marriages for men, with minor wives/ (ib V, p. 2572). What else could the wise 
men of the West suggest, when in 1650 at the termination of the Thirty Years* 
War the population was greatly reduced and there was a considerable surplus of 
females, but to pass a resolution that 'thenceforth every man should be allowed to 
marry two women? (EBr. XVIII, p. 107). 

Apart from the conditions of war even taking England in the normal state as 
a concrete case this is what an English writer has to say. Summarising the census 
figures of 1921, he gives the total number of unmarried women (t\ e., the single, the 
widowed and the divorced) without visible means of existence as 3,665,668 ; and 
asks, Ho what use does the nation put this unmarried and unemployed three -and 
half a million V (Macfarlane, The Case for Polygamy, p. 19). He proceeds :— 'The 
fact that polygamy has been practised is in itself a proof that the sexes do not exist 
in the uniform proportion ; and I am yet to learn that any widespread scarcity of 
women has been experienced in the past as a result of such a practice. Even if 
there ;were an eqnal number of men and women in the world the enforcement of 
monogamous marriage would involve as its logical corollary the cbmpelling of every 
one to marry;. .On this point alone, without the aid of any other argument, 
monogamy as a universal system, stands condemned/ (p. 79). And then controvert- 
ing the fatuous doctrine that polyandry is on the same footing as polygamy, he 
observes .:— - c It is mischievously and foolishly thought, and implied in our social 
practice that the sexual needs of men and women are identical. Nothing is further 
from the truth. A woman's urgent need of man has, as its ultimate instinctive 
motive the bearing of the children ; when that it achieved the desire for a man 
becomes, quite a secondary matter. On the other hand, a man needs women for 
himself ...Both desires are complementary and fulfil each other; they are not 
id^tical/ (p. 86). 

* Universal monogamy far from being the -final and ultimate form of sex rela- 
tionship is foredoomed, according to some of the modern European thinkers, even to 
lose that hold which it now possesses. Dr. Gustave Le Bon of France, for instance, 
envisages a condition of society in the West when European laws will have to lega- 
lise polygamy while for the preservation of the pure Aryan stock, Professor V. 
Ehrenfels regards the adoption of polvgyny as a necessity. (Westermarck's op. «/., 

Last but not least comes the considered dictum of a German Professor, Earnst 
Bergman of Leipzig, delivered in the course of an essay on 'Knowledge and the 
Spirit of Motherhood* in the year 1939: — 'Lifelong monogamy is perverse, and 
would prove harmful to any race. Were this institution ever really enforced — and 
fortunately this is almost never the case in reality — the race must decay . ... . There are 
plenty of willing and qualified youths ready to unite with girls and women on hand. 
Fortunately one boy of good race suffices for twenty girls. And the girls for their 
part would gladly fulfil the deinand for children were it not for the nonsensical so- 
called civilized idea of the monogamous permanent marriage, an idea in complete 
contradiction to all natural facts/ (Quoted in the Hindu, Madras, dated the 5th of 
November, 1939). 

V. SQrar-ul-Ma'ida 401 

K&i ____ . «*&»' 

The Food-Table. V 

(Madinian, 16 Sections and 120 Verses) 

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful. 


1. (^^ . . UjIj) O you who believe! fulfil your obligations. 185 
Allowed to you are all cattle quadrupeds 136 except those announced to you, 187 not 
allowing the game 13 ! while you are in a state of sanctity: 139 verily Allah ordains 
what He will. 140 

135. (consequent on your belief ; arising out of your faith) . &Xe literally 
is a contract, a compact, a covenant, or an engagement. Thus the word &+$£ 
here may mean, 'contracts, etc., or obligatory statutes, or ordinances of God; or 
the covenant imposed by God, and those imposed mutually by men agreeably with 
the requirements of the religion/ (LL). These 'compacts* comprehend all duties 
towards God and man. 

136. u e., four-footed animals such as goats, sheep, oxen and camel, and 
those resembling them, such as antelopes, wild cows, etc. 

137. (hereinafter). 

138. (though lawTul at other times) . 

139. (on your way to Makka, or within the Sacred Precincts) *!>cw of 
which the plural is p y c± , 'applied to a man signifies entering into the „^ or 
sacred territory of Mekkah or of El-Madenah ; . . . . o r *ysa* as meaning, in, or, 
entering upon, the state of J%c*.l •* *• *., entering upon the performance of those 
acts of the ^.c±, or of the x ; ^ , whereby certain things before allowable, or lawful, 
to him become forbidden, of unlawful/ (LL) 

140. (in His infinite Wisdom). 

402 '**t;yi 



2. (i^UjJI . . . tfc» Lj) you who believe! do not profane the landmarks 
of Allah* 41 nor any sacred month, 142 nor the offering 148 nor the victims with the 
garlands, 144 nor those repairing to the Sacred House seeking the grace and good- 
will 146 of their Lord. And when you have put off the state of sanctity, 1 ** you may 
chase, 147 / And let not the detestafion.for a people, because they 148 kept you 149 
from the Sacred Mosque. 160 incite you to trespass. 161 Co-operate with each 
other in virtue and piety, and do not co-operate in sin^nd trangression. 158 Fear 
Allah, 163 verily Allah is Severe in chastising. 164 

3. {^) '. . . u^.*^) Forbidden to you are dead- meat blood, swine- 
flesh, 166 any animal dedicated to other than Allah, 166 the strangled, 167 the felled,* 68 
the tumbled, 168 the gored, 160 the mangled by beasts of prey, 161 unless you make it 
clean 168 by giving it death-stroke yourselves and what has been sacrificed on the 
altars. 168 Also forbidden to you is partition 164 by divining arrow. 166 Aii that is 
an abomination. Those who disbelieve have this day 166 despaired of your 
religion 167 . So fear them not; 168 fear Me, 168 This day I have perfected 170 your 
religion for you and have completed My favour upon you, 171 and have chosen for 
you ISLAM as religion. 172 He who is driven to extreme hunger, 173 not inclining 
to sin, 174 verily then Allah is Forgiving, 175 Merciful. 176 

141. Such, for instance, as the rites prescribed for Hajj which are to be 
respected. For *juf J U-& see P. U, n. 87. 

142. (by having recourse to fighting in that season) . 

143. (which is being led to Makka to be sacrificed there) . 

144. (in their necks to mark them off as sacred). 

145. The pagans also at that time went to perform Hajj and 'Umra 
according to their own rites. The passage says that infidels though they are, they 
are not to be molested out of respect to these landmarks of Allah. 

146. (and the pilgrim garb, and have returned to your common and 
everyday life). 

• 147. (provided the game happens to be outside the Sacred Precincts). 

V. SQtat-uhMSida . , .„. , , v 403 

148. f.^., the pagans of Makka. 

1 49. The address is to the contemporary Muslims with the holy Prophet, at 
their head. 

150. The reference is t:o the Quraish having prevented the holy Prophet, 
who with 1400 of the faithful, was on his way to Makka on a purely religious and 
peaceful visit, from entering the Holy City, A truce for 10 years had been 
concluded at Hudaibiya/ 

151. (the proper bounds, by taking revenge on them in the Sacred months 
or in any other way violating the sanctity of *JJ| ^J U£ , natural though your 
provocation may be). 

152. i. ^.•co-operate in righteousness; non-cooperate in impiety. As 
universal maxims of justice the two commandments are of exquisite beauty. 

153. (so that all difficulties will be removed, and practice of virtue will be 

154. (those who violate His ordinances). 

155. (it is the rigid observance of this command that, according to a 
Christian scholar, 'has emphasized the separate character of the Muslim community* 
and has put an obstacle 'in the way of social intercourse between them and the 
Christians? (Arnold, Islamic Faith, p. l4) . See V. II nn. 140, 145. 

156. See P. II, n. 146. 

157. Cf. the NT : 'Ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, 
and from things strangled/ (Ac. 15: 29) 'They keep themselves from things offered 
to idols, and from blood, and from strangled/ (Ac. 21 : 25) 

1581 i. e., killed by a blow. 

159. i. ^killed by a fall. 

160. (by the horns of an animal). 

161 . (or the animals trained up for hunting) -^ is any hostile beast having 
a v-JttU or tearing claw/ (LV) 

162. (by slaughtering it in the proper, lawful way, while yet there is life in 
it). By this ritual slaughter, even if it is done at the last moment, the animal is 
saved from becoming maita, and can be eaten. 

163. (or, 'sacred stones' ; stones dedicated to gods). In pagan Arabia, 
'sacred stones' served the purpose of an altar, ^^aj signifies 'an idol ; or a stone 
which the pagan Arabs set up, to sacrifice, or slay animals, before it, or by it, and 
which became red with the blood/ (LL) 

164. (of the meat). 

165. *j: is 'An arrow without a head and without, feathers: plural ,JM : 
which was applied to those divining arrows by means of which the Arabs in the 
time of ignorance sought to know what was allotted to them; .... and they put 
them in a receptacle, and when any of them desired to make a journey, or to 
accomplish a want, or when he desired to perform some affair, he put his hand into 

404 Part Vt 

that receptacle, and took forth an arrow; and if the arrow upon which was 
"Command" came forth, he went to accomplish his purpose, but if that upon which 
was "Prohibition" came forth, he refrained; and if the blank came forth, they 
shuffled them a second time/ (LL) 'It was the custom to draw lots for joints of a 
camel with arrows some feathered and others unfeathered, kept for this purpose in 
the temple of Mecca/ (Rodweli). 

166. i. e., now. The verse was revealed on Friday, the 9th of Zul-Hijja 
at /Arafat, in itself a festive occasion in the 10th year of the Hijrah when the holy 
Prophet performed his valedictory Hajj, triumpant at the head of 1 ,20,000 devoted 
and faithful followers. Memorable indeed was the address he delivered on this 
memorable occasion. The following abridged version is by Lane-Poole (corrected at 
one place) : — '■ 

'Ye people! Hearken to my words ; for I know not whether after this 
year I shall ever be amongst you, here again. u 

'Your lives and your property are sacred and inviolable amongst one 
another until the end of time. - 

'The Lord hath ordained to every man the share of his inheritance: a 
testament is not lawful to the prejudice of heirs. 

'The child belongeth to the parent; and the violator of wedlock shall get 

'Ye people ! Ye have rights demandable of your wives, and they have 
rights demandable of you. Treat your women well. 

'And your slaves, see that you feed them with such food as ye eat 
yourselves, and clothe them with the stuff ye wear. And if they 
commit a fault which ye are not willing to forgive, then sell them, for 
they are the servants of the Lord, and are not to be tormented. 

'Ye people ! Hearken unto my speech and comprehend it. Know that 
every Muslim is the brother of every other Muslim. All of you are 
on the same equality : ye are one brotherhood/ 

Then, looking up to heaven, he cried 'O Lord ! I have delivered my 
message and fulfilled my mission/ And all the multitude answered, 
'Yea, verily hast thou/ 'O Lord ! I beseech Thee, bear Thou witness 
to it' ! and, like Moses, he lifted up his hands and blessed the people/ 
(LSK. Intro, pp. LXVIII-LXIX). 

167. i. e., have given up their fond hope that Islam could ever be 
vanquished. By then the triumph of Islam was complete, and the solidarity of the 
Muslim community had become marvellous — nothing short of miraculous. 

168. (who with all the material resources at their command and the 
superiority of their numbers had been proved uttterly powerless before the might of 
the Lord). 

169. (as the only object of dread : as the only entity entitled to the highest 

VI. SUrat-ul-MVida 405 

moral reverence), 

170. (in every little detail and until the end of time, and which mankind 
shall never be able to outgrow). The world, says an European convert to Islam, 
'has not b^en able to produce a better system of ethics than that expressed in Islam ; 
it has not been able to put the idea of human brotherhood on a practical footing as 
Islam did in its supernational conception of ^Ummat" ; it has not been able to 
create a social structure in which the conflicts and connections between the members 
are as efficiently reduced to minimum as in the social plan of Islam ; it has not been 
able to enhance the dignity of man ; his feeling of security ; his spiritual hope ; and 
last, but surely not least, his happiness. In all these things the present achieve- 
ments of the human race fall considerably short of the Islamic programme, Where, 
then, is the justification for saying that Islam is "out of date ?" (Asad, op. cit., 
p. 133). 

171. (by having given you this true, perfect and final religion). 

172. See P. Ill/ nn. 290, 609. 

173. (and partakes of some unlawful food by sheer necessity, of saving his 
life). See P. II, n. 147. ff.' 

174. f. e. y neither exceeds the limits of bare necessity, nor seeks the pleasure 
of the palate. 'Not Effecting an inclining to sin ; intending, or purposing it/ (LL) 

175. (so He will overlook accidental lapses). 

176. (and it is out of His unbounded mercy that He has made all such 

40£ Part VI 

4. (uiUaaJf ... lSSjJ^j) They ask thee, what Is allowed to thern. 177 
Say thou: allowed to you are all clean foods,* 7 ® and as to the animals of prey 179 
which you have trained 180 as Allah has taught you, 181 eat of what they 182 have 
caught for you ; and mention the name of Allah over it 188 and fear Allah; 184 verily 
Allah js Swift in reckoning, 186 

5 (o^^s^I • • • *t^0 This 'day allowed to you 186 are a// clean foods 
and the meat of those given the Book 187 is allowable for you and your meat 188 is 
allowable for thern as also allowed to you are 189 the wedded 190 believing women 
and the wedded women of those given the Book before you 191 when you have 
given them their dowers, taking them in wedlock, 194 neither fornicating nor taking 
as mistresses. 193 And whoso rejects the faith, 194 his work will surely cqm.e to 
naught, 196 and in the Hereafter he will be of the losers. 

177. (of the animals chased by hound or hawk). 

178. The meaning is : all animals, clean and lawful in themselves, are 
retained for you as lawful, when chased by hound or hawk. 

179. (whether beasts or birds). 

180. (and. trained to prey). 

181. (through His Prophet). 

182. i. e. y the beasts and birds of prey trained by you in the way prescribed. 

183. (when ye let go the hound or the hawk after the game). 

184. (in infringing any of His laws and commandments). 

185. Or, 'Allah is to. make a reckoning soon\ (Th) 

186. (until the end of time ; with no fear of abrogation). 

187. i. *., animals slain and dressed by the Jews and Christians. 

188. i. e. 9 animals slain and dressed by the Muslims. 

189. (allowed unto you). 

190. See P. V. n. 2. 

191. Notice the distinction Islam makes between a marriage with a Jewess 
or a Christian woman and a marriage with a pagan woman. Notice again that the 

VI. SUrat-ul-Mrida 407 

Jew an Christian wives are not asked to renounce their religion forthwith. 

192. Notice the emphasis on the purity of the motive and the procedure. 
The object, in any case, must be permanent partnership in life, not the fleeting 
pleasure of passion. 

193. See P. V. n. 26. 

194. Every act of making a forbidden thing lawful or a lawful thing 
forbidden is a denial of faith. 

195. i. f., while he is in this state of virtual unbelief, his other good works 
would not avail him. 

408 Pan VI 


6. ( *.£&; . . . U-iLA you who believe! when you stand up for 
prayer wash your faces and your hands up to the elbows, 196 and wipe your 
heads 197 and wash your feet up to the ankles; 198 and if you are polluted/ 99 purify 
yourselves. 200 And if you are ailing 201 'or on a journey 202 or one of you comes 
from the privy 203 or you have touched women, 804 and you do not find water, 205 
betake yourselves to clean earth and wipe your faces and hands with it 20 * Allah 
does not mean to lay upon you a hardship, 207 but means to purify you and to 
complete His favour upon you that perhaps you may return thanks. 208 

7. () a^J-l . . . LjlSL)- Arid remember Allah's favour on you 209 and His 
bona with which He bound you firmly when you said: we hear and we obey. 210 
And fear Allah; 211 surely Allah is Knower of what is in your breasts. 212 

8. ( # JLuu ... I** Ij) Q V ou wh0 believe! be maintainers of your pact 
with Allah 213 and witnesses in equity, 214 and let not the detestation for a people 215 - 
incite you not to act fairly; 216 act fairly; that is nigh unto piety. And fear Allah; 
surely Allah is Aware of what you work. 217 

196. j] here has the significance of ^ , and jil^Jl ^ \ means, 'with 
the elbows', and not 'as far as the elbows'. The elbow is meant to be included 
among the parts to be washed, not to be excluded therefrom. 

197. (with water). 'There is an ellipsis in the phrase ; the meaning being 
HJb jX^tyaa-vl <wi P e ye your heads with water/ (LL) 

.198. *CK)! is grammatically coupled with f£*fry an( * fX^'i and not with 
'*CA% . Referring to these careful preparatory ablutions observes a Christian 
writer: — 'The scrupulous cleanliness of the Mohammadan, which contrasts so 
favourably with the unsavoury state of Easterns of other creeds, is an excellent 
feature in the practical influence of Islam/ (LSK. Intro, p. LXVIII). 

199. (by sexual acts). The emission of seed, whether in waking or in sleep, 
makes bathing obligatory. 

V. SUrat-uhMaida 409 

200. (by bathing). Contrast this emphasis on physical cleanliness with the 
Christian view obtaining in the early Christian centuries/ 'The cleanliness of the 
body was regarded as a pollution of the soul, and the saints who were most admired 
had become one hideous mass of clotted filth. St. Athanasius relates with enthu- 
siasm how St. Anthony, the patriarch of monachism, had never, to extreme. old 
age, been guilty of washing his feet . . . St. Euphrasia joined a convent of one 
hundred and thirty nuns, who never washed their feet, and who shuddered at the 
mention of a bath/ (Lecky, op. cit. y II, p. 47) A pious pilgrim, in the 4th century, 
'boasted that she had not washed her face for 18 years for fear of removing the 
baptismal chrism/ (EBr, I, p. 49). See P. II, n. 478 ; XI, n. 67. 

201. (and the use of water is likely to aggravate or prolong disease). 

202. (and water is not obtainable nearby). 

203. (in which case, a fresh wudhu or ablution of face is obligatory for 
praying purpose). 

* 204. u e., have had intercourse with them, which makes bathing obligatory. 

205. (for use) i. e. 9 whether it is unobtainable or injurious to health. 

206. See P. V. n. 129. 

207. —on the contrary, He provides you with every facility— 

208. (and the best way of returning thanks is to obey His commandments). 

209. (in furnishing you with detailed directions for your good). 

210. This is the pledge implied in the very act of the acceptance of Islam. 

211. (by implicitly following His commands), 

212. (so be sincere in every act of devotion and duty). 

213. (by implicitly following His commands). 

214. (in the affairs of men when called upon to give-evidence). 

215. (however justifiable in itself ). 

216. (in their affairs whatever the provocation). The meaning is: be 
always fair in your dealings' with men and let no indignation, howsoever righteous, 
against any person make your depart from the path of truth, justice and equity. 

217. (so that none of your acts can go undetected). 

410 Part W 

f* s y- r <> 9f*'li> Z*"Z<< "J* tec's >» >' '•• »•!» • £ */* '*U 'i^f'^hS ll- 9 '-^ * < 

9. (<►*&£ • -. • UJlaju) Allah has promised those who believe and work 
righteous works that for them shall be forgiveness and a mighty wage. 

10. La»»j| . . . ^iJ!,) And those who disbelieve and belie Our signs, 
they shall be the inmates of the Flame. 

11 - (ia*W*J'-* • * W* W) ^ Y, ou who be,ieve! remember Allah's favour 
on you when 218 a people 819 determined to stretch forth their hands against you, 220 
but He withheld their hands from you. 221 And fear Allah, and on Allah let the 
believers rely. 221 

218. (in the early days of Islam). 

219. i. e., the Quraish at Makka. 

220. (so as to exterminate you). 

221. (and at long last made you triumphant). 

222. . (in the future, as they have trusted in the past). 

V. Surat-ul-Ma'ida 411 

<U_~s j>-&>jb UU>j ,♦£»! f4*&Jjj (*££*> *}-> ©^Lxalit^ J-j»tUj j*U« 


12, ( U*uJ! . . . A&J 5 ) Assuredly Allah took a bond from the Children 
of Isra'Jl 223 and;We raised from amongst them twelve leaders. 224 And Allah said: 
surely I am 225 with you; 226 if you establish prayer and pay poor-rate and believe in 
My messengers and support them and lend to Allah a goodly loan, 227 I will 
expiate for you your misdeeds and will admit^you to Gardens beneath which 
rivers flow, 228 then he of you who disvelieves thereafter has surely strayed from 
the level way. 

13. C^LvsB.ji , . . U*i) Thus for 229 their breach of their bond We 
accursed them 230 and We made their hearts hard. 231 They pervert the words 132 from 
their meanings 233 and have abandoned 234 a good portion of that with which they 
were exhorted. 335 And thou 236 wilt not cease to light upon defrauding 237 on their 
part 238 save a few of them, 239 yet pardon thou them 240 and overlook them; 211 
surely Allah loves the well-doers. 242 . 

14/ (: .jjjuaj . * . ^A And of them who say: we are Nazarenes, 243 We 
took a bond from them, 244 but they have abandoned a good portion of that with 
which they were exhorted; 245 so 246 We have caused enmity and hatred among 
them 247 till the Day of Judgment, 248 and soon 249 will Allah declare to them what 
they have been performing 250 all along- 

15. ( v . s ^ ... uL) people of the Book! surely there has come to 
you Our messenger 881 expounding to you much in the Book that you were wont 
to hide 252 and much he passes over. 153 To be sure, there has come to you from 
Allah a light and a Book luminous. 264 

223. (that they would receive His successive messengers with due respect). 

224. (or 'captains', to supervise that they acquit their, charge faithfully). 
Cf. the OT : 'And with you there shall be a man of every tribe ; every one head of 
the house of his father/ (Nu. 1:4). And these tribes were twelve. 'And the Lord 
% spake unto Moses, saying, Send thou men, that they may search the land of 

412 P&* VI 

Canaan, which I give unto the Children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers 
shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them/ (Nu. 13 : 2, 3). This time 
again their number was twelve. 

225. (and shall be). 

226. (to watch your conduct). 

227. (by contributing to the poor and needy and by financing the holy 

228. Note that all these rewards are contingent on Israel's observance of the 
bond to follow and obey the fresh prophets as they arise. 

229. «. r., as a reprisal to. 

230. i. *., estranged them from Our mercy and grace. For a series of 
curses upon the disobedient among^Israel. See Le. 26: 14-39; Dt. 31: 16-18; 
Josh. 23: 12-16. 

231. Cf. the OT : 'They have refused to receive correction, they have made 
their faces harder than a rock ; they have refused to return/ (Je. 5: 3). 'Yea! 
they have made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law/ 
(Ze. 7: 12). 

232. (of Torah). The reference is to the religious leaders of the Jews. 
See P. I, n. 323; P. V. n. 143. 

233. , Look at the Jews' own estimate of the correctness and accuracy of their 
Bible •:— 'We may infer with certainly that the ancient copies of the Torah contained 
no vowels or accents, and that these have come down to us by oral tradition. For 
the multiplication of copies, human copyists had to be employed. It is by no means 
contrary to our faith in the Bible to assume that, as far as the human work of these 
copyists is concerned, it must have been subject to the fate of all human work, to 
error and imperfection. And, in fact, there are many copies of the Bible that 
abound in mistakes; there are passages in Scripture that vary in the different 
manuscripts; hence numerous varioe lectiones met with in the critical editions of the 
Bible/ (Friedlander, The Jewish Religion, p. 53) See P. I, n. 325, fT. P. V. n. 143. 

234. The proper significance of _; is to dismiss something from one's 
mind either wilfully or involuntarily. In the context the word connotes the sense of 
deliberate abandonment. 

235. (in their Scripture) i. *., they are bereft, to a very large extent, of the 
benefits of the Torah. 

236. (O Prophet!). 

237. t. e.> deceitful practices; literaryjforgeries. 

238. i.^, they are still busy in tampering with their holy texts, retaining 
what suits their purpose and suppressing what does not. 

239. (and these few have already embraced Islam). 

240. t\ e. 9 bear thou patiently with them. 

241. i. e. % refrain from exposing publicly their frauds and forgeries. 

V. Surat- u/-Ma'/da 413 

242. "The phrase implies the high merit of forgiveness and tolerance. 

243. t. e., we are the people of Jesus of Nazareth. 

244. , (to the effect that they would believe in the Final Prophet). Witness 
numerous references to him, the well-known and well-recognized "that Prophet" 
or "the Prophet" found even in the garbled text of the modern Gospels :—* And 
this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to 

ask him, Who art thou ? . . . . Art thou that prophet ! And he answered, No 

And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not 
that Christ, nor Elijah, neither that Prophet/ (Jn. 1 : 19,21, 25). ' Jesus stood and 

' cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink .... Many of the 
people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet/ 
(Jn. 7 : 37, 40). 'If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, 
and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever/ 
(Jn. 14 : 15, 16) 'It is expedient for you that I go away : for if I go not away, the 
Comforter will not come unto you ; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And 
when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of 
judgment/ (Jn. 16 : 7, 8). 

245. And the most serious loss they have incurred is their abandonment of 
monotheism, and its substitution by trinitarianism — a flagrant variety of poly theism. 
According to an impartial observer, a famous biologist of Germany, 'Christian 
monotheism shared the fate of its mother, Mosaism ; it was generally only monothe- 
istic in theory while it degenerated practically into evey kind of polytheism/ 
Haeckel, op. ciL, p. 232) See also n. 235 above. 

246. — as their punishment in this world — 

247. i. e., among the Christian sects and sub-sects. The reference here is to 
the permanent and perennial 'war of creeds within the Church* and not the 
political antagonism between the European states which happen to be Christian — 
some of them only in name. The Catholics are, from the Protestant stand-point, 
no better than 'Popish persons, who .... desire still to keep the people in ignorance 
and darkness/ (See dedication of the AV to King James). In a similar vein the 
Catholics point their finger to the amount of 'immorality and corruption prevalent 
among Luther's followers/ (CD. p. 815). And the wordy acrimony has frequently 
given place to severe religious persecutions, and even massacres. In Dean Milman's 
admirable summing up of the Church history, 'Bloodshed, murder, treachery, 
assassination, even during the public worship of God — these are the frightful means 
by which each party strives to maintain its opinions and to defeat its adversary 
(quoted by Lecky, History of European Morals, II, p. 82 n.) 'After having been 
persecuted by the pagans, the Christians persecuted each other over nonsensical 
follies. They killed, imprisoned or exiled each other over the word hamooesiss or the 
sense of the word pheysis, nature, which the Nestorian school of Antioch understood 
differently from the Monophysite school of Alexandria. (Dermingham, Life of 

414 Part IV 

Mohammed, p. 117). 

248. 'A prophecy which thirteen -centuries have not falsified/ (ERE. X, 
p. 544) 'There is an Abyssianian proverb which says that the Christians never 
agree except on one point, the birth of Christ. (Dermingham. op. cit., p, 117) 

249. i. e. 9 in the Hereafter. 

250. . (and punish accordingly). 

251. (as the Final Prophet). 

252. (without himself being learned in your Scriptures at all), i. e., guided 
and aided as he is by Divine knowledge, himself being illiterate, he brings to light, 
whenever required in the interests of religion, many of the things in your Scriptures 
which ye seek to conceal. 

253. (out of his modesty). This refers to that portion of the Gospel the 
exposition of which is not immediately imperative. 

254. .^^ implies that the Holy Book is not only in itself imbued with 
shining light, but it also makes other things clear and bright. 

V. Sdrat-ul-Ma'ida 41$ 

?^Kii ' . . . . i&Cgi 

^t &M's W$u&<il<9$& <$****« ;a&-6& < *&k£\<#> 

16. (aJUU## . • . 4u***) With rt A " ah Quides those who follow His good- 
will 285 to the ways of safety, 256 and He brings them forth out of darkness* 5 ? into 
the, light 258 by His command, 25 * and guides them on to the right path. 

17. {yj*3 "... . &$.)) Certainty they are disbelievers who assert: 260 Massih, 
son of Maryam, 261 is the very God himself. Say thou: 262 who can avail in aught 
against Allah, if He meant to destroy Christ, 263 son of Maryam, 264 and his mother 165 
and those on the earth altogether? 266 And Allah's is the kingdom of the heavens 
ancj the earth and what is in-between. 267 He creates whatever He will, and Allah 
is Potent over everything. 

255. Note once again that they alone can profit by the Qur'an who are 
willing to be helped by it, although the 'ways of safety* it shows are open to one and 

256. (both in this world and the Hereafter). 

257. (of sin and infidelity). 

258. (of belief and piety) . 

259. (and grace). 

260. (and believe). c Those who asserted that their God was a man, and 
that a crucified man was their God, laid themselves open to the accusation that they 
were idolaters arid blasphemers/ (Denison, op. cit.> p. 286). 

261. The reference here is mainly to certain less well-known varieties of 
Christianity, such as Docetism, Monarchianism and Sabellianism, which rest on 
some such propositions are the following: — 'That one and the same God is the 
Creator and Father of all things; and that when it pleased Him, He appeared/ 
'When the Father had not been born, He yet was justly styled Father; and when 
it pleased Him to undergo generation, having been begotten, He himself became 
His own Son, not another's/ 'Father and Son, so called, are one and the same 
substance, not an individual produced from a different one, but Himself for 
Himself/ (ERE. VIII, p. 779) 'Modalistic monarchianism conceiving that the 

416 Part VI 

whole fullness of the Godhead, dwelt in Christ.. . . maintained that the names 
Father and Son were only different designations of the same subject, the one God.' 
(EBr. XV. p. 686). But hardly distinguishable from these 'heresies' and equally* 
bewildering to the Muslim mind is the accepted central doctrine of the orthodox 
Christianity : 'Jesus is very God of very God, who for us men and for our salvation 
came down from heaven and was made Man/ His nature is 'consubstantial' with 
God. 'He is not inferior to the Father, nor posterior, nor merely like unto Hirn, 
but identical in substance and in essence with Him. He is truly God, God of very. 
God, consubstantial with the Father, as the Nicene Creed has it, haying, or rather, 
being, the Godhead no less than the Father.' (CD. p. 252). In short, for jail 
practical purposes the terms God and Christ are interchangeable. ' As early as twenty 
years after the Ascension the doctrine of Christ's Deity was already finally established 
in the Church. It is not argued about or proved, but assumed as one of those 
fundamental ideas about which Christians are agreed. Thus it is stated that He 
existed before He was born into the world, and indeed before all creation, ifi a 
status of equality with God; that He created the world as the; Father's agent; . . . . 
that He is ... . actually God, and therefore, to be worshipped with divine honours 
by angels and men (Dummelow, op. cit.\ p. cviii). Two references in the N. T. 
itself are quite explicit, 'Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever' 
(Ro.9:5) 'looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great 
God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.' (Ti. 2, 13). See also p. XXII, n. 307. 

262. (to these Christolators, O Prophet !) 

263. (a mere mortal, by death). 

264. i. *., son of a frail mortal woman. 

265. (who also is adored and worshipped as a Divinity by a very large 
number of the Christians). c In the most widely distributed form of Christianity the 
"virgin" mother of Christ plays an important part as a fourth deity ; in many 
Catholic countries she is practically taken to be much more powerful and influential 
than the three male persons of the celestial administration.' (Haeckel, op. cit., 
p. 232). Even as early as the 3rd century, 'the titles of Mary as the 'Mother of 
God' and as the 'Queen of Heaven', 'were demanded by the more fanatical 
Christians who claimed Divine honours for the ideal and prototype of virginity. 
(DB. Ill, p. 289). 'Mariolatry is probably now more> prevalent in the Church of 
Rome than at any former time.' (p. 291). In the Orient there existed, in the 
early centuries, certain (Christian) sects who worshipped Mary. The Collyridians, 
says St, Epiphany, offered little cakes (collyris) as sacrifices to the Virgin like those 
offered to Ceres by the pagans.' (Dermingham, op. cit., p. 111). The title of 
Tho tokos, or 'Mother of God' was enforced on the Virgin Mary by the Oecumenical 
Council of Ephesus in 431. According to the Roman Catholic Church God, 
without ceasing to be God, in the characteristic phrase of St. Paul "implied 
Himself" and was born in human form of Mary's womb and she became Virgin 

V. Surat-ul-Ma'ida 417 

Mother, the Virgin Mother of God/ (Ptoserpie, The Council of Ephesus and the 
Divine Motherhood, p. 4) To Catholics the Council of Ephesus is above all, the 
Council of "Thotokos/' Mother of God. From it dates the rise of that intimate 
and personal devotion to Our Blessed Lady which ever since has found one of the 
most beautiful and distinguishing features of the Catholic Church. Mother of God ! 
It is the form and centre and explanation of the worship we pay to her (p. 23). See 
also P. VII, n. 199. 

266. (with whom Jesus is on a par in the attribute of powerlessness). 

267. t. e.y He is the sole Creator, the sole Author, the sole Ruler of the 
universe, undivided into several 'persons*. 

418 Part VI 

•agar «&*£ ' 


18. (^J| . .. ^'U.) And the Jews 268 and the Nazarenes 269 say: 
we 270 are the children of God and His loved ones. 271 Say thou: 272 why then does 
He perish you for your sins? 273 Aye! you are but men part of His creation. 274 
He forgives whom He will 275 and chastises whom He will. 276 And Allah's is the 
kingdom of the heavens and the earth and what is in-between, and to Him 277 is 
the return. 

- 19 - (rt& • • • J** O ° P e °P ,e of the Book! there has come t0 V° u 
Our messenger, after a' cessation of the messengers, 278 expounding 279 to you lest 
you may say: 280 there came not to us any bearer of glad tidings or warner. 281 So 
now there has surely come to you 282 a bearer of glad tidings and a warner; and 
Allah is Potent over everything. 283 


20/ I ju.JUJ| .'. . J'.>' .SI. ,) And ,e -cat/ when Musa said to his people: 2 ! 4 
my people! remember the favour of Allah on you when He made amongst you 
messengers 385 and made you 286 princes, 287 and gave to you 288 what He did not give 
to any people 2 ™ in the world. 290 

21. ( m> j>y*L . .'• ^aj) my people! enter the holy land which Allah 
has ordained U for you, 291 and do not turn back, 292 for then you will become 
losers. 293 

22. (.^JULa . . . -IjJIj) They said: Musa! verily therein area people 
high-handed 294 and we shall never march to it so long as they do not depart; if 
they depart, we shall certainly march to it. 295 

268. c Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my first-born/ (Ex. 4 : 22) 
*Ye are thfe children of the Lord your God/ (Dt. 14: 1) 'When Israel was a child, 
then I loved him, and called my son, out of Egypt/ (Ho. 11: 1). 'The Israelites are 
addressed as " the children of the Lord your God/' When Israel was young, he 
was called from Egypt to be God's son. 'The Israelites are designated also the 
"children of the living God/' (JE. VI. p. 15). 

V. Snrat-ul-Ma'ida, 419 

269. 'As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons 
of God, even to them that believe on his name' (Jn. 1 : 12). As many as are led by 
the Spirit.of God, they are the sons of God' (Ro. 8 : 14). 'Children of God* is a 
title of the faithful in virtue of special adoption by God/ (CD. p. 204). 'Jesus 
teaches that this relation of sonship to God is connected with his own person, and to 
be enjoyed through him/ (DB. II. p. 217). 

270. (as a race or community). The plural pronoun is here used in the 
collective, not in the distributive sense. It refers to the Jewish people and the 
Christian community, not to individuals. 

271. i. *., His chosen people or community. 'I am a father to Israel, and 
Ephraim is my firstborn. Hear the word of the Lord, O Ye nations, and declare it 
in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, 
as a shepherd doth his flock/ ( je. 31 : 9-10) 'Speak unto all the congregation of 
the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your 
God am holy/ (Le. 19:2) 'Ye are the children of the Lord your God ..... For 
thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to 
be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth/ 
(Dt. 14: 1-2). And the Jewish rabbis have said: 'Beloved one Israel, for they are 
called "Sons of the Highest" . . . .Even if they are foolish, even if they transgress, 
even if they are full of blemishes, they are still called "Sons" (quoted in Klausner's 
Jesus of Nazareth, p. 377). So far with regard to the Jewish claims. Then as to the 
Christian : —This sonship conferred on men depended not on human descent from 
Abraham, nor upon the sexual relations of their parents, nor could it be had for 
willing or wishing it, z. r, human effort. It was a free and supernatural gift from 
God, inward and spiritual, implanted by the Holy Ghost, and dependent for its 
maintenance on union with Christ/ (Dummelow, Commentary on the Holy Bible, 
p. 775). 'The specific condition of the "new man", in contrast to the "old", is 
that of sonship and installation into sonship after the likeness of Christ's ... . .God 
himself is the veritable Father of the Christian believer, the kindred fontal source of 
his new life .... Baptism. is to him [St. John] the normal condition under which 
believers came to rank as "Children of God", in virtue of a manifest sealing by 
Holy Spirit power/ (DB. IV, pp. 218-219). 

272. (O Prophet ! to the Jews and Christians). 

273. (as you yourselves admit). 

274. i. e., ordinary mortals like the rest of mankind. 

275. (and His will to forgiveness is occasioned by right belief of which you 
are destitute). 

276. (and His will to chastisement is occasioned by unbelief which you 
possess in plenty). 

277. (and not to Christ or anyone else). 

278. (when old dispensations have ceased to exit anywhere in their purity). 

420 Part W 

ioti is 'a cessation of the mission of apostles, and a state of effacement of the signs 
of their religion/' (LL) or an interval of time between the disappearance of a 
prophet and the appearance of another. The conception is not altogether unfami- 
liar to the readers of the Bible. 'Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that 
I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but 
of hearing the words of the Lord/ (Am. 8:11). 

279. (the eternal verieties). 

280. (in the Hereafter, by way of excuse). 

281. (and so we could not find guidance). 

282. (in the Person of the Holy Prophet). 

283* (so He deferred the raising of a prophet so long as He willed, and has 
now raised a Final Prophet). 

284. (after their deliverance from the Egyptian bondage, to induce in them 
readiness for holy war). This must have happened sometime between 1440 and 
1400 B. C. According to the OT, Moses delivered this sermon on this side of Jordan, 
in the land of Moab/ (Dt. 1:5). 

285. (as in no other people). C A succession of men so absorbed in the living 
God . . . . cannot be found in antiquity elsewhere than in Israel/ (EBi, c. 3854) 
'The term has received its popular acceptation from Israel alone, because, taken as 
a class, the Hebrew prophets have been without parallel in human history in their 
work and influence ; (JE. X. p. 213). 

286. t. e. y the people of Israel as a whole. The pronoun J is here used in 
the collective sense. 

287. i\ e., masters of your own selves. A i_£JU i s not necessarily a king. 
He may be anybody possessing dominion, authority, or even independence. The 
allusion may also be to the past history of Israelites, when in the time of Joseph, 
they were really a ruling nation. 

288. (as a race). 

289. (of the other races and nations). 

290. The c Unity of God* is the first lesson the Israelites were taught when 
God revealed Himself to them on Mount Sinai .... The Jews were the first nation 
of monotheists. From them monotheism has spread among other peoples, who, 
however, did not always receive or preserve it in its original purity (Friedlander, 
op. ciLy pp. 38, 39). For Israelite preference see P. I. nn. 198, 199. 

291. i. *., the land of Canaan; vaguely referred to in old commentaries as 
Syria. 'Behold, I have set the land before you : go in and possess the land which 
the Lord sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to give unto them 
and to their seed after them/ (Dt. 1: 8). 'And Moses called "unto Joshua, and 
said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong ancLoTa good courage ; for thou 
must go with this people unto the land which the Lord hath sworn unto their fathers 
to give them ; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it/ (31 : 7). Its eastern limit 

V. Surat-ul-Mrida 421 

was at Beth Shemesh. . It included possibly 2,000 square miles of land, most of it 
remarkably fertile/ (DB. Ill p. 844). X A rich soil, well-worked, and nearly all 
capable .of cultivation, (EBi. c. 3741). 

292. 'Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them : for 
the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee ; he will not fail thee, nor forsake 
thee' (Dt. 31 : 6). 

293. 'Losers' both in a spiritual and a temporal sense. Spiritually, because 
of disobeying the command of the Prophet for the holy war; temporally, because of 
being deprived of a land so fair and so vast. 

294. (as also warlike and of gigantic stature). 'They were distinguished 
specially for military prowess/ (DB. Ill, p. 845). The Amalekites were .... excess- 
ively warlike, well-armed, and fairly disciplined, having been long accustomed to 
hold their own against the surrounding nations, with whom they had frequent 
collisions/ (Rawlinson, Moses: His Life and Times, p. 139). It was 'a country 
defended by a multitude of cities, small, it is true, but with very formidable defences 
and warlike inhabitants/ (Marston, The Bible is True, p. 183). The people were 
also given to superstition and lewdness. 'To understand the Hebrew prophets and 
their fierce indignation against Canaanite worship we must have in mind that With 
such worship was associated the religious immorality which disgraces Southern 
Indian temples at the present day. They were fired by a moral indignation against 
cruelty and lust/ (Drinkwater, Outline of Literature, I, pp. 74, 75). 

295. 'We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger 
than we .... The land .... is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof ;. and all 
the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the 
giants ; the sons of Anak, which come of the giants : and we were in our own sight 
as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight/ (Nu. 13 : 31-33). It was full summer, 
probably about the end of July or the beginning of August, Palestine might at 
once have been occupied, or its conquest at any rate commenced, if the people had 
had faith. But, on the near approach of danger, their hearts failed them (Rowlinson, 
Moses: His Life and Times, p. 177). 


422 Part VI 

23. ( ^jO^^ "... .JU) Thereupon spoke a couple of man 1 * 6 who feared 2 * 7 
God and whom Allah had favoured: 298 enter the gate 299 against them, then as 
you enter ityog will overcome, 800 and put your trust in God, if you are indeed 
believers. 801 

24. (^.^o . , . I^t.*) Yet the people said: MQsHl certainly we shall 
never march to it so long as they remai A there, go forth thou and thy Lord, and 
fight you twain, 302 we remain here sitting, 308 

25. ( .jutu*i.J! . . . JU) Mus5 said: my Lord! I have no control over any 
but myself and brother 804 so decide Thou between us and this wicked people. 305 

26. ( ^A*»*iJ! . . . JU) Allah said: verily then it 306 is forbidden to them 
for forty years, 30M while they shall wander about in the land, 307 so lament not thou 
over the fate of this wicked people. 308 


27. (^.fcUV . . . J;],) And recite thou to them* 9 with truth 310 the tale 
Of the two sons of Adam, 311 when the twain offered an offering, and it was 
accepted from one of them, 312 and was not accepted from the other. 318 He said: 314 
I will surely kill thee. The other said: Allah accepts only from the Godfearing. 315 

296. i. «., Caleb and Joshua: two of the twelve 'spies' deputed by Moses to 
search out the land and bring word concerning it and its people. 

297. (to disobey God and His apostle). They were among the chiefs whom 
Moses had deputed to discover the circumstances of the country and its people. The 
Israelites in their nervousness had proposed to their leader and lawgiver to send 
men to bring a report on the condition of the country and the people before they 
ventured an invasion ; and Moses had acceded to this request. 

298. (inasmuch as they had remained faithful to their Lord and His 

299. (of the city). 

300. (and they shall vanquish, because they are bodies without hearts) 'And 

V. Surat-ul-Ma'Jda 423 

Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; 
for we are able to overcome it/ (Nu. 13 : 30) Also JE. III. p. 498. 

301. 'And Joshua.. . . and Caleb . . . .rent their clothes: And they 
spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying,. ... Only rebel not ye 
against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land ; for they are bread for us : 
their defence is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not. But 
all the congregation bade stone them with stones/ (Nu. 14: 6-10). 

302. This answer of the Israelites has a tinge of polytheism about it, for 
among the polytheistic people gods also were supposed to participate in war. 

303. 'And ail the congregation lifted up their voice* and cried: and the 
people wept that night. And ail the children of Israel murmured against Moses 
and against Aaron/ (Nu. 14:1,2). 

304. The main army of Israel, like that of all primitive nations, consisted 
of the whole able-bodied adult male population, (EBi, c. 312). 

305. i. e. y decree Thou against each of us according to his deserts. The 
Israelites were not only insubordinate, but they openly slandered and reviled Moses. 
(JE. IX, p. 51). 

306. i. e., the promised holy land. 

306A. The wandering lasted according to Sir Charles Marston's computation, 
from 1440 BC. to 1400 BC. 

307. i. e. 9 in^the wilderness of Sinai. 'Surely they shall not see the land which 
I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it/ 
(Nu. 14 : 23). 'Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness ; and all that were numbered . 
of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old upward, which have 
murmured against me, . . . ."And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty 
years, and bear your .whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness/ 
(Nu. 14 : 29-33). 'After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, 
even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, 
and ye shall know my breach of promise/ (Nu. 14 : 34). 

308. (O Moses !) Moses, true prophet of God as he was, pitied his rebel- 
lious people, and was moved at their miseries. 'All the injuries and slanders heaped 
upon Moses by the people did not lessen his love for them/ ( JE. IX, p. 51). 

309. i. e ., unto the people of the Book, O Prophet ! 

310. 'With truth' is added to distinguish the story as related here from its 
corrupted form occurring in the OT. 

311. i.e., Cain (Qkbil) and Abel (Habil). 

312. (because of his sincerity and the purity of his motives). 

313. (since it proceeded from an impure heart). 

314. (in rage and chagrin).. The reference is to Cain the elder brother. 

315. Compare and contrast with the Quranic narrative, replete with moral 
lessons, the insipid and uninspiring version of the Bible (Ge. 4: 2-5, 8). 

42* Part VI 

28. ( ^JUJl . . • 0$) If thou stretchest forth thy hand agains tme to 
kill me, I shall not be stretching forth my hand against thee to kill thee, verily I 
fear Allah, the Lord of the worlds. 316 

29. ('^^JUWI ... S)) I would rather that thou bear my sin 317 and thine 
own 318 sin, and then thou become of the inmates of the Fire: that is the recom- 
pense of the wicked. 

3 ^* (i2W>*»«JJ • • • tr^fcj) Then his mind made the.killing of his brother 
pleasant to him, so he killed him and became of the losers. 

31. ( ..^jjJI) * • . t*~**i) Then Allah sent a reven scratching in the 
earth 319 to show how he might cover the corpse of his brother. 320 He said: woe 
unto me! I am incapable of being even like this reven so that I might cover the 
corpse of my brother. And he was of the remorseful. 321 

316. (and this fear of the Lord impels me to forego even the right of self- 

317. i. e., any sin or sins that I may have committed before, I being the 
victim of thy unjust wrath. 

318. (in slaying me). 

319. (with its bill and talons to bury a dead raven). 

320. As this was the first murder, in fact the first human death upon the 
face of the earth, the murderer did not know what to do with the corpse and stood 

321. i. e. y sorry for his ignorance and folly, and not repentant over his guilt. 
A sinful act may be followed by either of two painful feelings. One is called 
remorse, but in that there is no merit. The other is known as repentance, which 
alone is capable of wiping out the guilt. 

V. SQrat-ul-Ma'/da 425 

32. {i*))*r"*) • • % L2T*) Becaute °f that m We prescribed to the Children 
of Israel: 323 whoso kills a person/except for 814 a person, or for corruption in the 
land, 325 it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, 826 and whoso brings life to 
one 917 it shall be as if he had brought life to all mankind. And assuredly there 
came to them 318 Our messengers with evidences, 829 yet even after that 880 many 
of them are acting in the land extravagantly, 831 

33. (n*fc* . . . U1) "The recompense of those who wage war against 
Allah and His messenger, 382 and go about in the land making mischief 888 is only 
that they shall be slain 884 or crucified 386 or their hands and their feet be cut off 886 
on the opposite sides** 1 or be banished from the land. 838 Such shall be their 
humiliation in this world, 388 and in the Hereafter theirs shall be a torment mighty— 

34. ■■(<**>) • • • iiH^' *') Save thpse wl10 repent before y° u overpower 
them: 348 for know that Allah is Forgiving. 341 Merciful. 842 


35. (^fsjjj . .. • Iw U) ° YOU who believe; fear Allah 848 and seek 
approach to Him. 844 and strive hard in His way, 845 that haply you may thrive. 844 

- 322. (which Cain did). 

323. Whosoever sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed : for 
in the image of God made he man/ (Ge. 9:6) And the following rabbinical 
dictum has been quoted by Rodwell: 'To him who kills a single individual of Israel 
it shall be reckoned as if he had slain the whole rape/ 

324. i.e.* in retaliation for. 

325. *. *., for creating disorder and bloodshed. 

326. As the doctrine implies in Islamic jurisprudence the murder of an 
individual is a crime against the whole community, or rather humanity, and there- 
fore, it is the duty of the community to see to it that lawful vengeance through the 
direct and lawful avenger has its course. 

426 Part VI 

327. i. e. y . saves a life from unjust murder. >l^c^l is here synonymous with 
*\&j] , anc i signifies the making one to continue in life and the preserving him alive. 

328. i.e., the children of Israel. 

329. (of their apostleship). v 

330. i. e., after We had impressed upon them the gravity of the sin of 
unjustifiable murder even so much. 

331. (some of them even going to the length of murdering the prophets of 
God or plotting their murdir). ^ i ~ • 

332. (by violating the security gr^ntedby the Divine law). 

333. *. *., committing robbery and bloodshed. 

334. (if they are guilty of murder only). 

335; (if they ayeguilty of murder and robbery both) . 

336; (if they are guilty x>£ rbbbery only). 

33Ji' i.e. ; right hands and left feet, 

33fe (if they have not yet committed murder or robbery, but are on the 
point of doingso). Such criminals may also be.; segregated from society by being 
placed in prisons. 

339. Lest some of these penalties may appear 'barbarous' to some hypersen- 
sitive Western reader, let Him cast a glance on 'drawing and quartering,* a penalty 
of the Eriglish Criminal Code maintained; as late as the 18th century , 'inflicted on 
those fbunxl gjuiltypf high treason touching the king's person or government. The 
person committed was usually drawn on a sledge to the place of execution ; there he 
was hung by the ^eck irbm a scaffold, being cut dbwn and disembowelled, while still 
aliv<e; hish&a^hen^was cut irdm his liiody a^d his corpse divided into four quarters/ 
l^ny were fe the profession of their 
faith was declared high treason by law— who suffered this death. 'In the reign of 
Henry III and Edward I there is abundant evidence that death was the common 
punishment for felony; and this continued to be the law of the land as to treason 
and as to all felonies, except petty larceny, down to the year 1826/ (Stephen's 
History of the Criminal Law, of England, I p. 458). In contemporary English law, 
robbery is larceny with violence; and the guilty is liable to penal servitude for life, 
and, in addition, if a male; to be once privately whipped .. . '". llie elements of the 
offence are essentially the same under American law. (EBr. XIX, p. 346). 

340. i. e., before they are arrested. So far as the rights of God are 
concerned, the guilt of these penitents will be condoned. 

341. (so He will forgive so far as their sin of God is concerned). 

342. (so He will show mercy by accepting their repentance). 

343. (and renounce sin). A negative precept to acquire merit. 

344. (through acts of duty aiid devotion). A positive precept to acquire 
merit, gJ^ , w > is a means of access to a thing; a means of attainment or accomplish- 

345. (with might and main). This 'striving hard' includes fighting for 
religion* ; 

346'. (and win the goodwill and pleasure of God— the highest goal 

V. SQrat-ut-Mrida 427 

36. .(.^ji ... ^jj) Surely those who have disbelieved, if they 847 posses- 
sed all that is in the earth and with it as much again to ransom themselves thereby 
from the torment on the Day of Judgement it shall not be accepted of them, and 
theirs shall be a torment afflictive. 

37. /^ . . . .^yS) They will long 348 to escape from the Fire/ but 
thpy shall not be able to escape from it and theirs shall be a torment lasting. 849 

38 ;.-; ( j^ . . . ^Im*)!. ) As for the man-thief and the woman-thief, cut 
off their hands 360 as a recompense, for what they have earned 361 a deterrent 
punishment from Allah; 362 and Allah is Mighty, 863 Wise. 86 ! 

39. (^j ... _,j) Then whoso repents after his wickedness 866 and 
makes amends 866 Allah shall certainly relent towards him. 867 Allah is Forgiving,/ 868 
Merciful. 359 

40. (^j ... <Jl) Dost thou not know 360 that Allah's is the kingdom 
of the heavens and the earth? 361 He chastises whom He will, 362 and He forgives 
whom He will; 363 and Allah is Potent over everything. 364 

347. i. e.y every one of them. The plural pronoun is used in its distributive 

348. (with all the intensity at their command). 

349. (t. 6., never to be relaxed or lightened). 

350. (from the wrist-joint, O men of authority). According to the Hanafi 
school of Islamic law, the penalty for the first offence is the amputation of the right 
hand at the wrist; for a second, that of the left foot at the ankle. But for a third 
offence, no more amputation, but a long term of imprisonment — until the culprit 
shall presumably reform (HidqyU). 

351. (provided— 

(i) the value of the thing stolen be not less than one dinar or 

10 dirhams ; and 
(it) two male witnesses of good character give their testimony against 

the accused, or he himself confesses his guilt) . 

428 Part VI 

In addition/ there are provisions in the Hanafi law to the 
effect that <a thief's hands shall not be cut off for the theft of what 
cannot he guarded, or is not worth guarding, being found in the 
land in great quantity , such as dry wood, hay, grass, reeds, game, 
fish, lime, etc., also such articles of food as are quickly perishable, 
as milk, meat, fresh fruit, etc. . . .Finally, a thief's hand shall 
not be cut off if the thing stolen hath no conventional value, even 
though it be otherwise regarded as of great worth/ (Roberts, 
op., <*'/., p 93). Cf. the laws of the OT :— 'If a thief be found 
breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there ihalhno Wood be 
shed for him/ (Ex. 22 : 2). 'If a man be found stealing any of 
his brethren :.of the children of Israel, and maketh merchandise of 
him, or selleth him ; then that thief shalL die/ (Dt. 24 : 7). 
Similarly in the Haminurabi, the Athenian, and the Roman codes, 
theft is, in certain cases, punishable with death. And in the 
common law of Engjand, till a comparatively re.cent date, grand 
larceny, or theft of goods above the value of one shilling in the 
house of the owner, was a capital crime. (EBr. XIII, p. 721). 

352. This emphasizes that the penalty prescribed is a Divine statute, and is 
not to be taken lightly. Next to high moral education and^deep religious upbringing 
it is fear of consequences as world-wide human experience proves, that keeps in 
check the very natural tendency, almost inherent in human nature, to stealing and 

353. (who has power and authority to issue any commands or decrees He 

354. (Who issues only such command? as befit His infinite Wisdom). 

355. (in the way approved by the law) i. *., restitutes the property stolen 
to the owner, or is forgiven by him. 

356. (his life for the future). 

357. i. *., shall forgive him his sin ; shall not punish him in the Hereafter. 

358. (so He shall forgive him his past). 

359. (so He shall keep him guided in the future). 

360. (O reader!) 

36 1. t. /., He is their absolute Master. 

362. (in accordance with the demands of justice). 

363. (in exercise of His wisdom and mercy). This refutes the doctrine of 
Karma as promulgated in some of the Indian religions, that there is no remission of 
sins, and that God Himself is powerless to forego and forgive ! 

364. i. *., He has a will of His own— Supreme Will ; and He can and does 
exercise His judgment *in every individual case. He is not a mute, inert, First Cause, 
enchained by inexorable laws, and powerless to use His will. 

V. SDrat-ul-Mtida , 429 

■ **• (jufrir • • • UtiW) ^ messenger! let not those 86 * grieve thee who 
hasten toward infidelity from among those who say with mouths: we believe, yet 
their hearts do not believe, and from among those who are Judaised: listeners to 
falsehoods, 36 * listeners 867 to another people 868 who do not come to thee; 868 they 
distort the words ffom their places, 870 saying * 87 * If what you are given 878 is this, 878 
accept it, 374 and if that is not given you, be on your guard. 876 And thou shalt not 
avail 376 against Allah 877 in aught anyone whom Allah wishes to try. 878 These it 
is whose hearts He would not purify; 878 to them is humiliation in this world, 888 
and to them in the Hereafter there shall be a torment mighty. 

42. \ ^*u...* t \ \ . . . <♦>*****) Listeners are they to falsehood and devou- 
rers of the forbidden. 881 So if they come to thee 388 either judge between them 888 
or turn away from them. 884 And if thou turnest away from them, they shall not be 
able to harm thee in aught; 886 and if thou judgest, judge between them with 
equity; verily AHah loves the equitable. 886 

365. (of the hypocrites, whether from among the pagans or from the people 
of the Book). 

366. (from their own chiefs and leaders). 

367. (of thy discourses), 

368. (only in their interest) i. e. 9 as their spies; as tale-bearers. 

369. (out of pride and conceit). 

370. Or, 'from their meanings/ See P. V. n. 143. 

371. (to those whom they send as their secret emissaries to the holy 

372. (by the Prophet). 

373. i. e., what we tell you. The Jews are here pointing towards their 
perverted texts. 

374. The ringleaders used to say to their followers who, guised as believers, 
joined the holy Prophet's company : if what you got there as Revelation agrees with 
what we tell you, accept it. 

430 Part VI 

375- i. *.,reject that teaching. 
.376. (O reader !). 

377. i* e. y against His naturai laws of cause and effect. 

378. (in consequence of his own will to go astray). 

379. (since they themselves do not will to be cleansed). 

380. Witness the frequent public exposure of the hypocrites, arid the extir- 
pation of the Jews in Arabia. 

381. i.*., greedy devourers of illegal gifts and presents against accepting 
which the Jews had special prohibitions. 'Thou shalt not wrest judgment ; thou 
shalt not respect persons, neither take a jgift : for a gift doth^ Wftt^ 

the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous/ (Dt. 16: 19). Yet in the face 
of such strict injunctions there have not been wanting Jewish teachers who have 
openly proclaimed and preached: 'When an Israelite and a Gentile are the 
parties to a suit, if it is possible to give the former the judgment according to the 
Jewish code of law, do so and tell him that such is our law; if he can be given 
judgment according to the gentile code of law, do so and tell the non-Jew that such 
is his law. If neither code is of avail, use a subterfuge/ (ET. p. 221). 
, r 382. (for judgment, O Prophet \) 

383. (making use of thy discretion). The choice whether to act or not as 
an arbitrator in the suits and disputes of the Jews entirely lay with the Prophet, 

384. (declining to intervene in their affairs even when requested). The 
Madinese Jews, true to their traditions of mischief, Sometimes submitted their 
disputes to the holy Prophet for decision. The text refers to such occasions. The 
Prophet is here empowered both to accede to their requests and to reject them. 

385. (so have no fear on that account). 

386. ifo n-ft.- literally means 'those wno judge and decide with equity/ 
Here the reference is to those who judge according to the Islamic code of law (Th). 

V. SQrat-ul-Maida 431 

43. ( ^jujj^ . . ,-lJ** 5 ) And how will they ask thee for judgment, 887 
while they havithe TawrSt, 388 in which is Allah's judgement? And they turn 
away thereafter ! 389 They are no believers at all. 


44. (^K>iucM . ; . -\j\ ) It is We who have sent down the Tawrat in which 
was a guidance 390 and a light. 391 By it 892 the prophets who submitted themselves 898 
judged those who were Judaised, and so did the divines and the rabbis: they 
judged by what was committed to their keeping 394 of the Book of Allah, 896 and 
to which they were witnesses. 896 So fear not mankind, 397 but fear Me, 898 and sell 
not My revelations for a paltry price 399 And he who does not judge by what 
Allah has sent down, — it is they who are the infidels. 400 

387. i. *., surely they do not approach thee as bona fide seekers of justice and 
with any honest motives at all. 

388. (their own Scripture which they seek to follow). 

389. (from thy decision also even after they had of their own accord sought 
thy decision). The Jews declined to abide by the decision of the holy Prophet 
whenever it went against them. 

390. (to right belief). 

391. (for right conduct). 

392. t. *., in accordance with its standard. 

393. (to God, though themselves receiving the homage of the multitude). 

394. (through the prophets). 

395. f. e. y the Torah or any other Scripture of their age and time. 

396. i. e., had accepted that duty gladly ; had cheerfully subjected themselves 
'to the yoke of Torah/ 'Far from being considered a bondage, it was looked upon 
as a privilege and a mark of favour from God, to be appreciated with love and 
gratitude/ (ET. p. 158). 

432 Part VI 

397. (in acting upon the precepts of the Torah, which includes belief in the 
mission of the Final Prophet). , 

398. (as I alone have power ta punish). The address is to Jewish divines 
and priests. See P. I, n. 182. 

399. (which you get in the form of money or honour from mankind) u e., do 
not suppress truth for fear of losing your hold upon the people. See P. I, n. 181. 

400. Cf. the OT:< — 'If they speak not according to this word, it is because 
there is no light in them/ (Is, 8: 20), 'Cursed be he that confirmed* not all the 
words of this law to dojthem/ (Dt. 27 : 26). 

V. Surat-ul-Mi'ida 433 

45. ( .^JUbiJt . . . iJLjJcJ.) And We enjoined for them in it: life for lift, eye 
for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and injuries //? reprisal. 401 And 
whoso forgoes it, 402 this 4 * 3 shall be for him an expiation. 404 And he who does 
not judge according to what Allah has sent down,— it is they who are the wrong- 

46. (^sxju . . ■-; U*jJ*) And in their 408 footsteps We caused 1$|, son 
of Maryam,- to follow, confirming what went afore him, the Tawrat, 4M and We 
gave him Infil, 407 in which was guidance 408 and light, 409 confirming that preceded 
it the Tawrit, 410 and a guidance and an admonition to the God fearing. 

47. ( ^Ljd! . . . ftas^))) And let the people of the Injll judge by what 
Allah has sent down in it, and he who does not judge according to what Allah 
has sent down,— it is they who are the ungodly. 411 

401. 'And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, eye for 
eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for 
wound, stripe for stripe/ (Ex. 21:23-25). 

402. i.e., the retaliation. 

403. i. e., this relinquishment of one's due. 

404. (for his sins, and an act of merit on his part). 

405. t. e., the Israelite prophet. 

406. Cf. the NT : — 'Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the 
prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till 
heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all 
be fulfilled.' (Mt. 5 : 17-18). 

407. See P. Ill, n. 453. 

408. (to right beliefs). ;.. 

409. (for right conduct). 

410. Cf. the NT :— 'And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, thah one 
tilth of the law to fail' (Lk. 16; 17). 

411. Cf. the NT: — 'Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least 
commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom 
of heaven.' (Mt. 5: 19). 

434 Par * v. 




48. ( , 5 UxsJ . ..UJ;;V 5 ) And We have sent down the Book to thee 
with truth 412 and confirming wliat has preceded it of. the Book/ 13 and as a guar- 
dian over It. 414 So judge thou between them 415 according to what Allah has sent 
down, and do not follow their desires 416 ayvay from what has come to thee of the 
truth. To every one of you 417 We have ordained 418 a law 419 and a way, 420 and 
had Allah so willed, 421 He would have made you ail a single community, 422 but 
He willed k not 4 ' 3 in order that He may try you 424 by what He has given you 425 
Hasten therefore to virtues; 426 to Allah is the return of you all; then He. shall 
declare to you regarding what you have been disputing. 427 

49. (^.j5*ujJ; . . . wV 5 ) And judge thou betvyeen them 428 according to 
what Allah has sent down, 429 and do not follow their desires, 430 and be on thy 
guard lest they tempt thee away from any part of what Allah has sent down to 
thee. 431 Then if they turn away, 432 know thou that Allah wishes to afflict them 
for some of their sins. 433 And verily many of the mankind are transgressors. 

50. ( ^jl^j . .' .,A<aail). Do they then seek 434 the judgment of paga- 
nism? 435 And who is better in judgment than Allah for a people who have firm 
faith? 486 

412. L e., this, the latest and final Book is true in : itself. 

413. i. e., confirming the truth of the previous Revelations. 

414. Or 'its protector/ That is one of the outstanding ^ merits of the Holy 
Qur'an. Not only it embodies within itself all the truths of the old Scriptures, but 
it also stands to preserve them from corruption, and serves as a text whereby their 
perversions, interpolations and inaccuracies can be known and corrected. And as 
to the very falliabie nature of the Bible, — well, it is self-confessed. The infallibility 
of the Bible, says one of its best modern apologists, 'consists of no absolute immunity 
from errors . . . . Even the Gospels defy the harmonist in some details, misquote at 
least one passage from the OT, and misattribute another passage. The OT, in its 
cosmogony and in its history, fails again and again to satisfy an exact standard of 
accuracy and to consist with modern knowledge, while its statistics are not seldom 

V. Surat-uf-Ma'fda 435 

inconsistent in detail. Many of its lapses are covered up by the kindly offices of 
textual tradition and translation, though every scholar knows them familiarly. 
Others have been smoothed over by the indulgent resources of an ingenious inter- 
pretation. It is now a commonplace of Biblical learning that God has been at no 
pains to prevent errors of history and knowledge and defects in the text and its 
transmission from finding an entrance into the scared pages of His Written Word/ 
(ERE. VII, pp. 262-263); 

415. t. *., the people of the Book, when they approach thee as contending 
parties, O Prophet ! 

41 6. (in the future, as thou hast not followed in the past). 

417. (O mankind !) i. e., for every people and community. 

418. (through Our Prophets prior to the universal message of the Qur'an). 

419. (of life). 

420. (to eternal bliss). 

421. (in conformity with His universal Plan). The will of God, which is 
the course of His physical law, is not to be confused with the goodwill or pleasure of 
God, which is the course of His moral law. 'What is* is always very distant from, 
and at times quite opposed to, 'what ought to be/ 

422. (by forcing' on you the religion of Islam; by leaving you no option but 
to tread the path of Truth and Faith). 

423. (this enforced uniformity). 

424. (in each case). 

425. i.e., as to who is obedient to Him by the exercise of His choice and 
who is not. 

426. (by the right use of your limited free-will, O mankind !). 

427. (without any justification whatever). 

428. i. : e., the people of the Book when they come to thee as contending 
parties, O Prophet ! 

429. i. *., the Holy Qur'an. 

430. (in the future, as thou hast not followed in the past). 

43 1 . To be ever vigilant, to be constantly on one's guard against the designs 
of the enemies of Islam, is in itself an act of positive merit. 

432. (from abiding by the decision, or from willing to be judged by the 

433. (now and here). The principal sin referred to here is that of flouting 
the authority of the holy Prophet after seeking his intervention. 

434. t. e., the Jews, who were the parties concerned occasioning the revela- 
tions of the whole passage. 

435. i.e., do they, with all their high-sounding talk of the Scripture 
learning, stoop to be judged according to the canons of paganism ? For ^^JUtaaJj 
see P. IV, n. 264. 

436. i. £., the appreciation of so plain a truth is possible only to those who 
are men of pure faith and perfect conviction. 


^ ' (t^v-lM .. . . l^tU) ® Y° u w ^° believe! do not -take the Jews and 
the Nazarenes for friends; 437 friends they are to each other* 11 and if any of you 
befriends: them, verily then he is one of them. 431 Surely Allah does not guide a 
transgressing people. 440 , 

52. (.^aJ . . <^yte) So thou seest those in whose hearts is a 
disease 441 hasten toward them saying : 442 we fear lest some misfortune may befall 
us. 443 But may be Allah may bring a victory 444 or some other affair from Himself, 445 
then 446 they shall find themselves regretful for what they have been keeping 
secret in their minds. 447 

^' ■ (i&ir^- - • -JAj ' il Anc * those who believe will say: 448 are they 
the same who affirmed by solemn oath of Allah that they were with you? 449 
Their works came to naught and they found themselves losers. 450 

437. (nor look up to them for help and advice). Of course there can be no 
very great community of interests between believers and non-believers. 

438. t. e. 9 the Jews and Christians have much in common, and can, and do, 
readily form a combination against Islam. As the most recent instance of their 
animosity against Islam, witness the Christian Britain's zealous sponsoring of 
'Zionism* and 'Jewish home in Palestine/ 

439. t. e., he must have some point or points of identity with them. 

440. (to the comprehension of this very plain truth). Wrong-doing here 
consisted in the mixing with the infidels. 

441. (of hypocrisy and half-hear tedness, O reader !) 

442. (excusing themselves). 

443. (as a reprisal for the victory at Badr). Their execuse is: we are not 
really inclined towards the pagans in our hearts, but it is not wise or prudent to lose 
old friends, — who knows the next move of the wheel of fortune ? — so to be on the 
safe side we have to keep appearances/ gJU literally is 'a turn of fortune*. 

V. Slrat-ul-Sn'ida 437 

444. (to Muslims over infidels). The allusion here is to the banishment and 
extirpation of the Jews. j^ is literally 'may-be', 'may-hap', 'perhaps' or 'belike" 
but when used in reference to an act of God it signifies surety of the happening. 

445.* Such as detection and exposure of the hypocrites ; so called because it 
was purely an act of Divine intervention, independent of. any exertion on the part 
of the Muslims. 

446. i. #., on the accomplishment of the two events here promised. 

447. i. #., their hypocrisy ; their friendship with the enemies of Islam. 

448. (among themselves when each and every hypocrite is known and stands 

449. An expression of astonishment on the part of the believers at the auda- 
city of the hypocrites. 

450. ?.*•>< to no profit came their friendship with the Jews ; and distrusted 
by the Jews and the Muslims alike, the hypocrites stood discredited altogether. 

438 Part VI 

<•■'»'■" <. f< l>-"i' ''''"•*&' <"<>■*'•' 'l.4*''i *"^' * A (* ■■'**' <" x <i\\ "'-i' ' 

■ j&^&»: ^ ^« i*st s-*/Ctrt- i^ts^.^s^^ 20 ^* ^-» -4«3ri -taa tt5jst ^» i^ 


54. (f^lc . • --.IfiLi) y° u w ho believe! 461 whoever of you apostates 
from his religion, then Allah shall soon bring a people 452 whom He shall love and 
who shall love . Him, 453 gentle towards the believers, stern towards the infidels, 
striving hard in the way of Allah, and unheeding the reproof of any reprover. 464 
This 466 is the grace of Allah; He bestows it on whomso He will. And Allah is 
Bountiful, 466 Knowing. 467 

55. (^ >*£!>'• . •WJ). Your friend 458 is but Allah and His messenger 
and those who have believed — those who establish the prayer 459 and pay the 
poor-rate, 460 while they bow down. 461 

56. r^^JULM . ... !♦*■♦«) And whoever befriends Allah and His messen- 
ger and those who have believed, then the party of Allah! it is they who will 

be triumphant. 462 


5 ^' (fejft^f* • • • UrfW) you who believe! do not take as friends 
those who make a mockery and fun of your religion from among those who have 
been given the Book before you and other infidels. 463 And fear Allah, 464 if you 
are believers. 

58. (^.Laxj . . . til 5 \ And when you call for the prayer 465 they 466 make 
a mockery and fun of it. 487 This, 438 because they are a people who have no 
understanding. 469 

451. The address is to them who were Muslims at the time this passage was 

452. (to replace Him). 

453. Love of God is, in Islam, the standing motive of all moral and 
religious life. 

454. (in the matter of faith, unlike the hypocrites who were always afraid 
of the pagans) . 

455. (strength of conviction and sincerity of purpose). 

V. Surarat-ul-Mrida 439 

456. i. *., able to endow everyone with excellent attributes. 

457. *\ e., who bestows His grace only on those who are, in His knowledge, 
fitted to receive it. 

458. i; e. r one to whom you should look up for help, comfort and guidance. 

459. Symbolic of all bodily devotions. 

460. Symbolic of all monetary obligations. 

461. (and are meek in spirit). This sums up the chief characteristics of a 
Muslim. He holds right and sincere belief ; he is steadfast in his prayers and other 
devotions ; he is regular in the payment of the poor-rate and other obligations ; and 
he is meek in spirit. 

462. t. *., they shall triumph in the end. 

463. The rejection of the true Faith is the common ground between the 
scoffing people of the Book and the pagans. 

464. t. e. 9 be on your guard against mixing freely with the rejecters of the 
faith after this prohibition. 

465. The formula of the public call to prayer s .|31 runs thus : — 

God is Most Great, (repeated four times). 

I testify that there is no god but God, (repeated twice) 

I testify that Muhammad is the apostle of God, (repeated twice). 

Come to the prayer, (repeated twice). 

Come to the bliss, (repeated twice). 

Prayer is better than sleep, (repeated twice but added only in the 
morning prayer). 

God is Most Great, (repeated twice). There is no god but God. 

This call (or az&n) the crier {muezzin) repeats five times a day at 
appointed hours standing on some platform or tower in a mosque 
with his face toword Ka'ba. The crier {muezzin) must not be one 
unclean or drunk and the recital must be listened to with respect. 

466. i. <?., the scoffers, whether they be from the pagans or from the people 
of the Book. 

467. Now, is there anything in the formula quoted above to laugh at or to 
make fun of? Here is what an English writer has to say, "The beauty of the 
Mohammadan Call to prayer", writes Hadland Davis in the Blue Peter "is unfor- 
gettable. Five times, within twenty-four hours, wherever Islam holds sway that 
sacred summons is sounded with sonorous, far-reaching voice. It comes, not from 
the gateway of a mosque, nor from a house-top, nor from the market-place, but from 
a lovely minaret that looks like a white, long-stemmed flower rising clear, strong and 
comely above the traffic of men. Whether it is heard at dawn or sunset, or when the 
purple bright sky is ablaze with stars, that call moves the infidel as well as the 
devotee . . . Someone has happily said that "the Moslem Call is eternally beginning 
and never terminating, a prayer "that may indeed be suspended yet never finished 

440 Part VI 

..... an adoration that may pause but never end". 

468. (misplaced and blasphemous hilarity). 

469, (a thing so simple and so evident). Thus describes an English Muslim 
lady the effects of this wonderful call to prayer:— ' As the beautiful cadences are 
elaborated to rise and fall as the Muezzin moves round the minaret to call the four 
corners of the world beneath, I wonder, how anyone can listen to that call unmoved. 
Surely does the Koranic Arabic hold a spell— even as the reading of the Sacred 
Book thrills its hearers. ' (Lady Cobbold, op. cit., p. 9). 

V. Surat-ul-Ma'ida 441 

L S 9 * '*> '- S%k\, 9 m ^ < >>/fm?1 9 i ' \'<* **L *• * *S "&< 'ml' *l>~ * I 

^>jta%^(^^^;®e»^^ ^>&f 'm;*h &±z ?> 

59. ( ^ . . . u) Say thou: 470 O people of the Book ! what is that 
for which you persecute us save that we believe in Allah and in what has been 
sent down to us and what has been sent down before? And most of you are 
ungodly. 471 

60. ( Axx^\ . . . J?) Say thou: 472 O people of the Book IshaW I dec- 
lare to you something worse as a way with Allah than that? 473 it is they whom 
Allah has accursed and with whom He is angered and whom some He has 
changed into apes and swine 474 and worshippers of false gods 476 — those are 
worse in abode 476 and furthest astray from the level way. 477 

61. (^-.XC . . • liL) A nd when they 478 come to you 479 they say : we 
believe; yet infidels they came 480 and infidels they departed. And Allah is 
Knower of what they have been concealing. 

62. (^Uxj . . . v} % ) And thou wilt see many of them 481 hastening to- 
wards sin and wickedness 482 and devouring of the unlawful. 483 Vile indeed is 
what they have been doing ! 

63. ( .jjuusj , . . !^j) Why then do their divines and priests forbid not 
them.. 484 from blasphemy and from devouring of the unlawful? 486 Vile indeed is 
what they have been performing! 

470. (on behalf of the Muslims, O Prophet!). 
47L (rejecting your own Scripture as well as ours). 

472. (O Prophet!). 

473. (Way of ours which you still reject and denounce). 

474. The transformation may not have been necessarily physical. It may 
have been only mental, as suggested by Raghib and others. 

475. ^ £ and ^lx £ both are the plurals of &x& , the distintion being that 
the former is used of the polytheists cy*iUaJ! s^*.c +& while the latter is used of the 
Muslims UJ'dU* p (LL). 

476. i. e., the final abode which shall be Hell. 

477. (even in this world). 

442 Part VI 

478. i. *., the hypocrite Jews. 

479. i. e., the Muslims. _ 

480. (to your company). 

481. «.#., of the Jews, O Prophet ! 

482. Compare the denunciation in their own Scriptures. 'Their feet run to 
evil, and make haste to shed blood/ (Pr. 1 : 16). 'Your iniquities have separated 
between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you ... Your 
hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity ; your lips have spoken 
lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. . None calleth for justice, nor any 
pleadeth for truth : they trust in vanity, and speak lies ; they conceive mischief, and 
bring forth iniquity . ... Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed inno- 
cent blood ; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity ; wasting and destruction are in 
their paths/ (Is. 59 2-7). 

483. compare the OT : — 'They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem 
with iniquity. The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach 
for hire/ (Mi. 3 : 10-11). 'Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: 
every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards : they judge not the fatherless, 
neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them./ (Is. 1 : 23). 'Yea, they are 
greedy dogs which can never have enough/ (Is. 56:11). 

484. i. *., the Jewish masses. As with the people so it was with the priests. 

485. Compare the OT : — 'From the least of them even unto the greatest of 
them every one is given to convetousness/ 

V. Stlnt-u/ m'icfa 443 

««gr" _ *kj& 

64. (^j_k-aaJI . ... iaJUO -And *h e Jews say, 486 the hand of Allah is 
fettered. 487 Fettered be their own* hands, 488 and cursed be they for what they 
have uttered! 480 Aye ! His both hands are wide open; 490 He expends howsoever 
He will. 491 And surely what has been sent down to thee 482 from thy Lord 
increases many 493 of them in exorbitance and infidility. And We have cast 
among them 494 enmity and spite till the Day of Judgment; whenever they kindle 
the fire of war # 496 Allah puts is out, 496 and they strive 497 after corruption in the 
land; 498 and Allah approves not the corrupters. 

65. LjuJU] . . . jj.) And had the people of the Book believed 499 and 
feared, 600 We" would surely have expiated from them their misdeeds and would 
surely have admitted them in the Garden of Delight. 

66. ( l2 flJL*j . . . >J.) And had they established the TawrSt* 01 and the 
Injil 502 and what has now been sent down to them from their Lord/ 08 they would 
have received abundance 604 from above and from beneath, 505 Among them is a 
community right-doing; 508 but many of them— vile is what they do! 

486. (who were at the time impoverished by a dearth sent upon them as a 
judgment for their rejecting the holy Prophet). 

^487. t. e.> He has become niggardly and close-fisted. 

488. i. e. } niggardly are they themselves. 

489. i. e.y for uttering a thing so blasphemous. 

490. (as ever) i. *., He, the Mighty One, is as generous as ever. 

491. (according to His infinite Wisdom and universal Plan). 

492. (O Prophet!). 

493. (but not all). Some of the Jews did eventually embrace Islam. 

494. The pronoun refers to the people of the Book in general, and not to 
the Jews alone, as is evident from the next verse. 

495. (against the Muslims). 

496. (either by raising feuds and quarrels among themselves, or by granting 
victory to the Muslims). 

444 Part VI 

\ ■ ■ ■ . ■ 

497. (when baulked in their attempts to kindle the fire of war openly). 

498. (secretly and stealthily,- by making all sorts of attack, often very 
cunningly veiled, on the faith of Islam). 

499. (in all the tenets of the faith;. 

500. (God, and refrained frdrri vice- and sin, as commanded in the code of 
Islamic law). 

501. 1. e.\ the original Taurat, and not the so-called OT. 

502. j, e., the original I njii, and not the so-called NT. 

503. L *., the Holy Qur'an. 

504. (of good things). 

505. «.<?., 'their means of subsistence. should be made ample ; by the forcing 
of the blessings of the heaven and the earth upon them/ (LL) 

506. (as they ultimately became converts to Islam). 

V. SUrat-ul-Ma'ida 44S 



67. ( ,yjyb£)\ . • • \$j\j) messenger! 607 preach thou whatever has been 
sent down to thee from thy Lord; 508 and if thou dost it not then thou hast not 
preached His message. 509 Allah shall protect thou from men. 510 Allah does 
not guide a disbeliving people. 511 

68, Cyj>W' • • •■ lP) Say thou: ° P e °P ,e of the Book! y° u rest not 
on aught unless you establish 512 the TawrSt and. InjTl and what has now been 

sent down to you from your Lord. 513 And what has been sent down to thee will 

surely increase many of them in exorbitance and infidelity; so mourn thou not 

over a disbelieving people. 

\ 69 - ('♦»■'*»•» • • • *j0 Sure, Y those who believe and those who are 

Judaised and the Sabians and the Nazarence— any of who believes in Allah and 

the Last Day and works rightously no fear shall come on them, nor shall they 

grieve. 514 

507. This from of address emphasizes the fact that Muhammad (on him be 
peace !) was essentially a missionary Prophet whose foremost sacred duty was to 
preach and to proclaim. 

508. (without any fear whatsoever). 'The missionary spirit of Islam is no 
after-thought in its history ; it interpenetrates the religion from its very commence- 
ment/ (Arnold, Preaching of Islam, p. 11). 

509. (at all). To deliver that Great Message incompletely or only in 
parts is not to deliver it at all. 

510. 'More than once his life was in danger, but a higher power protected 
God's envoy ; the sword fell from a hostile leader who waved it above his head/ 
(HHW, VIII, p. 123). 

511. 'to reach thee with intent to slay thee/ (Th). On his receiving this 
assurance of the Divine protection, the holy Prophet dismissed the men who had 
volunteered to act as his guard. 

446 Part VI 

512. t./., act up to. 

513. i. e. 9 the Holy Qur'an. 

514. (hi the Hereafter). See P. 1, nn. 280, ff. 'It was on the banks of the 
lower Euphrates that the Sabians or Christians of St. John the Baptist had settled, 
whom the Arabs called Mughtasila, Ablutionists', because they were always washing 
in the river ; not only were they still living there in the time of Muhammad, but 
they are there to this day, under the name of Sabian'. (Huart, Ancient Persia and 
Iranian Civilization, p. 179). 

V. SOrat-uf-Ma'icfa ___ 447 

••i3Bf *&4fc/ 


70. -JUS.* . . . ASJ) Assuredly did We take a bond from the Children 
of Israel 615 and We sent messengers to them. Whenever there came to them 
a messenger with what their souls did not like, 616 a party of them they belied and 
a party they put to death. 517 

71. ( .,}JLju> . . . l-r i^ *) And they imagined that no harm would come 
to them; 618 so they blinded and deafened themselves* 19 Thereafter 620 Allah 
relented towards them, 6 * 1 then they again blinded and deafened themselves.* 2 * 
And Allah is Beholder of what they work. 528 

72. (jLaJ! . . .- ££jV Assuredly they have disbelieved who say: 624 MasTh 
son of Maryam is the very God; whereas the Masih 525 had said: Children of 
Israel: worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord: 526 he who joins aught with 
Allah, 5 * 7 Allah shall surely forbid the Garden to him, and his resort is the Fire; 
and the ungodly shall have no helpers. 

73. (ajJ! . . .&&)) Assuredly those have disbelieved who say: 'God is 
the third of the three, 528 whereas there is no god except the One God. 528 And 
if they do not desist from what they say, 530 there shall surely befall those of them 
who have disbelived a torment afflictive. 

515. (that they would obey all Our messengers). 

516. i. e.) with a message that was not to their liking. 

517. Compare the NT : — 'Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets and 
wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify ; and some of 
them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city, 
(Mt. 23: 34). 

518. i. e., no punishment for their offence. Compare the OT: — 'They slay 
the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless. Yet they say, The Lord 
shall not see.' (Ps. 94 : 6, 7). 

519. i. e., they shut their eyes and ears against all argument and remons- 

520. t\>., after some time. 

448 p * rt VI 

521. (and out of His mercy sent another apostle). 

522. This attitude of blind denial and defiance the Jews maintained up to 
the time of' the holy Prophet. 

523. Compare the OT :— 'He that .planted the ear, shall he not hear? He 
that formed the eye, shall he not see/ (Ps, 94 : 9). 

524. (and believe). To the orthodox Christian c Jesus is without qualifica- 
tion God, and the greater the contradiction to the mind, the more the heart 
responds to the wonder of the mystery/ (HJ. Oct. 1934, p. 6). See nn. 260, 261 

525. (himself). 

526. c Thou shait worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou 
serve/ ' (Mt. 4: 10: Lk. 4: 8). 'And Jesus said unto him, why cailest thou me 
good? none is good save one, that is, God/ (Lk. 18: 19). 'Jesus never refers to 
Himself as the "Son of God", and the title when bestowed upon Him by others 
probably involves no more than the acknowledgement that He was the Messiah/ 
(EBr. XIII, p. 2.3). 'That the trinitarian baptismal formula does not go back to 

Jesus himself is evident and recognized by all independent critics ' (EBi. c. 4689). 

'A critical study of the synoptic material leads inevitably to the conclusion that 
Jesus never called himself the "son of God" and never was addressed by that title/ 

(EBi. c. 4701). See also P. Ill, nn. 453. 

527. (either in His Person or His Attributes, as the Christians do). That 
the Christians are proud of their Christolatry is a a fact self-evident. It is noted in 
their books with self-adulation that the Church in the course of its. long history 
has never ceased to offer prayer to Christ with the Father/ (ERE. I, p, 104). 

528. 'There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father/ the Word, 
and the Holy : and these three are one/ (I Jn. 5:7). The Athanasian 
Creed runs :— 'There is one person of the Father^ another of the Son and another 
of the Holy Ghost; the Father is God and Lord; the Son is God and Lord; and 
the Holy Ghost is God and Lord/ 'These words of the Creed/ says Swedenborg, 
'make it as clear as water in a crystal cup, that there are three persons, each of 
whom is God and Lord/ {The True Christian Religion, p. 224), This central 
doctrine of the Christian religion can only mean that God 'is three really distinct 
Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. . . .Three persons are co-equal, 
co-eternal, and consubstantial, and deserve co-equal glory and adoration/ (CD. 
p. 973). 'The dogma of the "Trinity", which still comprises three of the chief 
articles of faith in the creed of Christian peoples,. culminates in the notion that the 
one God of Christianity is really made up of three different persons : (1) God the 
Father; . .. . (2) Jesus Christ; and (3) Holy Ghost, a mystical being, over whose 
incomprehensible relation to the Father and the Son millions of Christian theolo- 
gians have racked their brains in vain for the last 1900 years/ (Haeckel, op. cit. 
p. 227). 

529. (with no divisibility of Person). And thus the Christians are as much 
Steeped in polytheism as are the pagans. The Christians 'acknowledged one God 
indeed with the lips, but in three persons, each of whom simply or by himself was 
God/ (Swedenborg, op. cit., p. 817). 

530. i. e.j from ascribing 'trinity' to God. 

V. SOrat-ul-M?ida " 449 

, , *l * * ' 

si* tf^i $'&& *^k© j&W- ?fr%\' s >%Yj!&l;#\ 

74. (*$&>) . . . Hi!) Why do they 531 not turn towards Allah and ask 
His forgiveness? 532 And Allah is Forgiving, 533 Merciful. 684 

75. (^yCijj . . . ^mmJ! U) The Masih, 535 son of Maryam, was naught 
but a messenger, 636 surely there passed away messengers before him, 537 and his 
mother was a saintfy woman; 638 they both 589 ate earthly food. 640 See how We 
explain to them Our evidences. 541 then see whither they are deviating! 542 

76. (^JUJ! . ■•■■. f-) Say thou, do you worship, 543 beside Allah, what 
does not avail you in harm or good, 544 whereas it is Allah who is the Hearing, 645 
the Knowing. 646 

77. / J^4*J| . . . A3) Say thou, people of the Book! 647 do not exceed 
the just hounds in your religion, 648 except with truth, and do not follow the 
fancies of a people who strayed before and have led many astray?and have strayed 
from the level way. 64 * 

531. i. *., the so-called Christians ; the trinitarians. 

532. (after the hollowness of their beliefs has been so thoroughly exposed 
and made manifest to them). 

533. (to those who implore His forgiveness). 

534. (to those who turn to Him). 

535. (himself a mortal and born of a frail mortal woman). 

536. (and neither God, nor His Son, nor His Incarnation). See nri. 39, 95 
above. Some of the most ancient Christians were not slow to perceive the humanity 
of Christ, as contradistinguished from his divinity. One class of the Ebionites regard- 
ed him c as an ordinary man though superior to other men/ (ERE, I, p. 103). Paul 
of Samosata held that ' Christ was a human person, who possessed the Logos as an 
attribute .... Finally he became God ; i e., he was united to God in the only way 
in which unity between persons is possible, by absolute harmony of will .... His 
miracles manifested the harmony of his will with the will of God/ (ERE, XI, 
p. 171). And Justin has remarked. 'There are of our number some who admit that 
he is Christ, but declare that he was a man born of man/ (EBi. c, 2963). Similarly 

450 Part VI 

the inquiries of the most modern of the Christian inquirers are once again approximat- 
ing the Islamic view. 'The picture of Jesus* as Loisy sees him, Ms purely human ... 
Jesus did not offer himself* to his contemporaries as a sage or a moralist, or as a 
prophet pure and simple, but 'as one sent from God who claims, in relation to the 
kingdom, the position of Grand Ambassador/ (HJ. Oct. 1934, p. 30). On purely 
historical grounds all that can be affirmed of Jesus Christ is that he was a man in a certain 
environment. The Christ of the Gospels is the product of faith.' (HJ. April, 1935, p. 374). 

537. (now surely no apostle however great and eminent and however 
superior to his fellow-beings can, in any sense, be God or part of God, or one of 
the 'Triad'). 'The familiar companions of Jesus of Nazareth conversed with their 
friend and countryman, who, in all the actions of rational and animal life, appeared 
of the same species with themselves. His progress from infancy to youth and 
manhood was marked by a regular increase in stature and wisdom/ (GRE.V 
p. 97). 

538 'This refutes the outrageous calumny of the Jews who held her guilty 
of misconduct and reinstates her in her pure, saintly character. See P, III, 
n. 403 ff. For the meaning of -, ±^> see P. XVI, n. 151. 'The feminine as used 
in the Koran means superlative in j ^^J) and .tjiiwaXJl/ (LL) . 

539. — mere mortals and mere human beings as they were— 

540. (and needed it), i .*., obliged to support their lives by the same means, 
and subject to the same necessities and- infirmities as the rest of mankind, they could 
be no* gods or godlings. 

541. (to expose the hollowness of the so-called Christians' position). That 
the Holy Qur'an did, to some extent, exert modifying influence on certain 
Chritian sects is now an admitted truth. 'The opposition of Islam also partly 
determined the form of men's views on the doctrine of Christ's person' (EBr. I, 
p. 177). 

542. (from the truth ; and how they cling to error and falsehood !). 

543. (O Christians !) 

544. Christianity gradually 'assumed a form that was quite as polytheistic 
and quite as idolatrous as the ancient paganism/ (Lecky. op. cit., II, p. 97). 'The 
polytheist peoples of the world with a variety of gods and goddesses, which enter into 
its machinery more or less independently. . . . It reaches its highest stage in Hellenic 
polytheism . . . .At a much lower stage we have Catholic polytheism, in which 
innumerable "saints" (many of them of very equivocal repute) are venerated as 
subordinate divinities, and prayed to exert thir mediation with the supreme divinity/ 
(Haeckel, op. cit., p. 236). 

545. t. *., Cognizant of all that you say. 

546. i. e. y Cognizant of all that you have in your heart. 

547. The address is mainly to the Christians. 

548. (by attributing Godhead to Jeasus and divinity to Mary) i. *., be loyal 

V. Surat-ul-Maida __ 461 

to your own Faith as vouchsafed by God, and do not make any man-made creed 
the test of your discipleship. It is a standing marvel indeed that the 'Christian 
religion* as it is called, contains so very few doctrines taught by Jesus himself, but 
is almost entirely made up of doctrines about him propagated by others. See n. 93 

549, Now who exactly are these erring peoples — the prototype of the 
Chiistian error ? The allusion may well be to the 'highly cultured* yet polytheistic 
and idolatrous nations of Greece and Rome — many of whose superstitions and 
blasphemies the early church, inspired by Paul of Tarsus, was only too prone to 
imbibe. St. Paul, the founder of the later-day Christianity, 'owed much to the 
Greek philosophy and thought, gained partly in formal education at Tarsus, partly 
by assimilation of the knowledge which floated on the surface of a more or less 
educated society and became insensibly the property of all its members/ (DB. V, 
p. 150). The Roman church owes something of the elaboration of its ceremonial, 
and its care for the little things of life, to the old Roman religion, and the many 
local and functional saints of present-day Italy are in effect the successors of the 
ancient spirits/ (UHW. Ill, p. 1753). 'And the later-day Greek also through the 
popularity of the cult of Asklepios 'was becoming habituated to the concept of Man 
God, who suffered, and was glorified after death/ (EMK. Up. 1414) Greece 'supplied 
the philosophy of the Christian religion, which, after Plotnus and Prophyry, 
had a more vigorous life within the Christian church than in the schools of Athens/ 
(UHW. IV, p. 2083). 'The contact of the Church with the Hellenic world led very 
early to the attempt to interpret the mysteries of the Christian faith in the teims of 
Greek philosophy. There are traces of this even in the epistles of St. Paul. The 
process, however, so far as the books of the New Testament are concerned, is most 
conspicuous in the fourth Gospel. The writer of this life of Chirts, whoever he may 
have been, was clearly influenced by Platonism/ (UHW. IV. p. 2330). 

452 Part VI 

• !>i*Bl' ^ _^ •ai'vi^V 

•\#4f sill; '>&\&s$Li$& <^» wr^®tisy |i*uusy 

">> v "*' o 9j6{ c &?' >' ' " >~ 


78. ( .,*iy>*j . .. . ^jj) Cursed were those who disbelieved from among 
the Children of Israel 550 by the tongue of Da ud 661 and Isa, son of Maryam. 652 
This, because they disobeyed and were ever transgressing. 658 

79. (.nlxkj . . . !>Jfc) They were wont not to desist from the evil they 
committed. 554 Vile is what they .have been doing! 

80. ..(^'jjta. . . . ^y) Thou wilt see many of them 555 befriending those 
who disbelieve. 556 Vile surely is what their souls have sent forth for them, 657 so 
that Allah became incensed' against them; and 558 in torment they shall abide. 

81. (^Awui . . . J*) And had they 559 believed in Allah and the Pro- 
phet 560 and what has been sent down to him, 661 they would not have taken them 662 
for friends; 863 but many of them are transgressors. 664 

82. (^yj^su^ . . . ^^xi ) Surely thou wilt find the Jews 566 and 
polytheists 566 the bitterest of mankind in enmity towards those who' believe. 667 
And surely thou wilt find the nearest in affection to the believer 568 those who 
say: 569 we are Nazarenes. 670 This, 671 because among them 672 are priests 673 and 
monks 574 and because they are not stiffnecked. 676 

550. i. e. y those who rejected the faith propounded by the prophets of their 
time : such as those who violated the Sabbath in the reign of David, or those who 
rejected the ministry of Jesus. 

551. 'And anger also came up against Israel, because they believed not in 
God, and trusted not in his salvation/ (Ps. 78 : 21, 22). 

552. 'Fill ye up then the measure of your father. Ye serpents, ye genera- 
tion of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell V (Mt. 23 : 32, 33). 

553. The Jewish history, as recorded in the Bible, is full of Israel's sins and 
delinquencies. Let one passage, only by way of instance, suffice : — 

'They would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their 
father, that did not believe in the Lord their God. And they rejected his statutes, 

V. Sural- ul- Ma ida 453 

and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he 
testified against them, and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after 
the heathen that were round about them .... And they left all the commandments 
of the Lord their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made 
a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Ba'al/ (2 Ki, 17: 
14-16). See P.I, nn. 271, 272. 

554. i. e., far from repenting and feeling sorry, they persisted in their acts 
of infidelity and impiety. 

555. *. e., the Jews, O Prophet ! 

556. (and are idolaters) The Jews formed pacts with the pagans for the 
destruction of Islam. 

557. i. e.y their acts of treachery and perfidy against Islam, and their 
alliance with the pagans. 

558. (as the inevitable sequel) . 

559. i. e. } the Jews. 

560. i. e., their own prophet, Moses, (Th). 

561. i.e., Torah, (Th). 

562. f. e., the pagan enemies of Islam. 

563. (and have made common causes with them for the extirpation of 
Islam). The Madinese Jews 'showed themselves more and more hostile to the 
new religion. They found a protector in Abdullah ben Obayyah, the chief of the 
Khazraj, who, jealous of Mohammed's growing power amongst his followers, toiled 
against the Prophet/ (HHW. VIII, p. 123 J. 

564. (and no true believers in their own faith, and so their behaviour is not 

565. (O Prophet) ! Compare an observation of Hitler : — 'It is impossible to 
exaggerate the formidable quality of the Jew as an enemy/ 

566. (those who associate aught with God) j. e., the idolaters. 

567. Witness the perfidious and treacherous conduct of the Madinese Jews 
and the uniformly hostile attitude of the Makkan pagans towards the Prophet. 

568. Note the word 'Nazarenes/ Nazarenes not Christians. Note further 
that the friendship of even these for the Muslims is only relative, not absolute. 
Only as compared with the inveterate hostility of the idolaters and the Jews their 
attitude is rather friendly. 

569. Note the words 'who say/ The import is that they avow their faith 
and are not ashamed of calling themselves believers in Christ. And they were not 
trjnitarians. To some early Christians 'the doctrine of the Trinity appeared incon- 
sistent with the unity of God which is emphasized in the Scriptures. They therefore 
denied it, and accepted Jesus Christ, not as incarnate God but as God's highest 
creature by Whom all else was created, or as the perfect man who taught the true 
doctrine of God/ (EBr. V, p. 634). Some of the Ebionites, for instance, while 

454 Part VI 

they accepted Christ, only accepted him as a revived Moses/ (ERE. V, p. 139). 
It is only these monotheistic Christians^who are commended in the Qin/an. The 
verse has no bearing whatever on the attitude to Islam of the modern, materialistic 
European States, priding on their secularism and religious neutrality. 

570. Even according to the orthodox Christianity 'we have to consider 
Muslims as very near to ourselves in point of theology/ (Macdonald, Aspects of 
Islam, p. 2), But really the reference in the Qur'an is to certain Ebionite sects. 
'Epiphanius describes the notions of the Ebionites of Nabathaean, Moabitis, and 
Basanitis with regard to Adam and Jesus, almost in the very words of Sura III, 52, 
He tells us that they observed circumcision, were opposed to celibacy, forbade 
turning to the sunrise, but enjoined Jerusalem as t«heir Kebla, . ... that they 
prescribed washings, very similar to those enjoined in the Koran . . . ' (Rodwell, 
The Koran, Preface, p. XVIII). It must have been the points of contract, like these, 
with Islam that have won tjie approval of the Holy Qur'an. 

571. t. e. } their comparative proximity to Islam and the Muslims. 

572. i. e. y the Christian community of the Prophet's .time. 

573. i. e., custodians of religion ; those well versed in religious learning. 

574. i.e.., esoteric heads of religion. 'There were Christian monks as 
early as the 3rd century .... The monks and nuns were looked upon as the most 
consistent Christians, and were honoured accordingly/ (EBr. V, p. 676). 

575. (and being meek and humble they do not disdain to listen to the voice 
of Truth). The description fits the 'heretics of the early centuries— the Ebionites 
and Nazarenes— rather than the later-day orthodox Churchmen. 


[ S= Surah ; p= page ; nn.=notes; Roman numerals stand for the 
number of surah and Arabic numerals denote the number of the verse ] 

Aaron, ii. 248 

Abbreviated letters, ii. 1 ; n. 28 

Ablutions, iv. 43; n. 12j; v. 6; nn. 198- 


Allah's friend, iv. 125; n. 235 

and Ka'ba, ii. 125; n. 563; ii. 126; 

n. 573-576 ; ii. 127, n. 577 

a prophet, iii. 84 ; iv. 164 

argues with Nimrod-^-see Nimrod 

.favours on, iv. 54; n. 187 

fulfilled God's Commands, ii, 124; 
nn. 556, 559 

not Jew or Christian, iii. 67 ; nn, 523, 
* 24 ; iii. 68 

not pagan, iii. 95 ; n. 16 

on life to the dead, ii. 260; nn. 74-79 

prays for a Messenger, ii. 129; nn. 
589-590; ii. 130; 596 

religion of, ii. 130; 135; nn. 618-19; 
ii. 132 ; nn. 600-602 

station of, iii. 96 

the chosen one, iii. 33 ; n. 356 

the upright, ii. 135; n. 618 

true faith of, iii. 66-68; iv. 125 

also see Bakka (Macca) 
Adam : 

creation of, ii. 30; nn. 133-34; ii. 
31; n. 139; ii. 32-34; n. 150; iii. 
59 ; n. 489 

fall of, ii. 35, ii. 36; n. 157; ii. 37-39 

repentance of, ii. 37 

the chosen one, iii. 33 

two sons (Abel and Cain), v. 27-31 
Adjurations, oaths and, in Qur'an, ii. 

224-25 ; n. 487-494 
Alif-Lam-Mim, ii. 1 ; n. 28 
Al-i-'Imran, S. iii. n. 206 
Alim (fjOc), ii. 29; n. 130; ii. 32; 

n. 145 

dye of, ii. 138; n. 138 See also God 

meaning, i. 1 ; n. 7 
Angels : 

Gabriel and Michael, ii. 97; n. 421 ; 
ii. 98 

nature of, ii. 30 ; n. 132 

not to be taken for the Lord, iii. 80 ; 
n. 586 

of Allah, ii. 30 ff, 177, 210, 248, 285 
An Ideal Prayer, ii. 201 ; nn. 341-42 
Apes, ti ansgressors become as, ii. 65 ; 

n. 292 
Apostles, see Prophet. 
Arafat, ii. 198; n. 328 
Ark, the, ii. 248 ; nn. 652, 655-56 
Ay at, abrogation of, ii. 106; n. 477 

meaning, ii. 106; n. 476 
Aziz, an attribute of God, iii. 4; n. 219 
Azwaj-i-Mutahharah — in Quranic 

sense, ii. 25 ; n. 108 

Babil (Babylonia), ii. 102 ; n. 449 
Badr. (battle), iii. 12-13; nn. 256, 259; 
iii. 123 ;nn. 142-44; iii. 140; n. 201 
Bakka (Mecca), ii. 125 ; n. 563 ; ii. 144 ; 

n. 31 ; Hi. 96; nn. 17-19 
Bani Israeli, see Israel, Children of. 
Baqara, S. ii. n. 25; 295 
Belief — meaning, ii. 3 ; n. 34 

enjoin right and forbid wrong, iii. 

104 ;n. 59; iii. 110;n. 77 
fear God, iii. 102 ; nn. 47-48 
hold together, iii. 103 ; nn. 50-55, 57 
if weak and oppressed, iv. 97; iv 100 ; 

n. 430 
not to sit where God's signs are 
ridiculed, iv. 140, n. 47, iv. 92-93 
n. 389 
not to slight those wha salute, iv. 94; 

n. 413 
protected from harm, iii. Ill; n. 83 
their lives inviolable & sacred, iv. 29 ; 

n. 47; iv. 92-93; n. 389 
those who strive and fight, iv. 95 ; 

n. 419 
to prefer believers for friends., iv. 144 
warned against unbelievers, iii. 11 8- 

20 ;n. i 11-14 
way of (believers), iv. 115; n. 505, 



B quest, ii. 180; n. 193; ii. 240; nn. 

Book, (Revelation) : 

confirming earlier scriptures, iii. 3 ; 
nn. 214-15 

foundation of the, iii. 7 ; n. 232 

is sure guidance, ii. 2 ; n. 30 

people of the, iii. 64; nn. 511-13, 16 ; 
iii, 65, n. 518; iv. 47, 153, 161 

people of the book— Jews & Chris- 
tians, ii. 105; n. 270 

(Qur'an), light and guidance, 
ii. 2, n. 31 

(Qur'an), ver>es fundamental and 
allegorical, iii. 7; nn. 231-33 

to be studied, ii. 121 ; nn. 551-52 

also see Qur'an 

no soul has burdens greater than it 
can bear, ii. 286 ; nn. 202-3 

Gain and Abel, v. 27 ff 

Caleb and Joshna, v. 23 ; nn. 296-97, 

Calumny, iv. 112; n. 493 ; iv. 148; n, 1 
Charity, ii. 110, 177; n. 169; ii. 262- 

64; nn. 93-96; ii. 267; ii. 271; n. 

124; ii. 272 ; n. 129; ii. 273-74 

act of, to be concealed, ii. 271 ; nn. 

objects of, ii. 273 
Children, suckling of, ii. 233; n. 253 
Christ ; jfc^ jesus 

Christian arigejolatry, iii. 80 ; n. 596 
Christian creed ind sects, v. 17 ; n. 261, 

265; v. 18; n. 268-69; v. 69; n. 514; 

v. 73 ;n. 526-28 
Christian conception of curse, ii. 159: 

n. 100 ^ 

Christians, ii. 62 ; n. 275; ii; 1 1 1 ; n. 

498 ; ii. 113; n. 504; ii. 120 ; h. 550; 

ii. 138ri40; n. 642; v. 14; n, 247 
Cleanliness, iv. 43 ; also see Ablutions 
Compacts (^jc), v. 1 ; n. 135 
Contraception, ii. 187; n. 242 
Conviction, ii. 4; n. 41 
Courtesy , iv. 86 ; nn. 352-53 
Covenant, ii. 40; nn. 175-76 
Covetousness, iii. 180; n. 393: iv. 32 
Cow (the yellow), ii. 67 if 
Gowardice* iii. 122 ; rin. 137-40 
Creatioiiy of man. iv. 1 ; n. 476 
Creation, God's Command, ii. 117; 

nn. 527-531 ; iii. 47 ; nn. 429-30 
Criterion, ii. 53 ; n. 222 ; iii. 4 ; n. 217 
Curse, Allah's curse, ii. 89 ; n. 389 

Date-palms, ii. 266 ; n. 105-A 
David, also see Jalut 

a prophet, v. 70 

fights Goliath, ii. 251, 

receives inspiration, iv. 163 
Death : 

by God's leave, iiu 145; nn. 217-18 

every soul to taste, iii. 185 ; n. 413 

inevitable, iii. 185; nn. 412-13; iv. 
78 ■; nn. 299-300 : 

revival after, ii. 259; n. 59 ; ii. 260; 
nn. 77,79 
Desire (sV^a) meaning, iii. 14; n. 267 
Dinar, iii. 75; n. 559 
Disease in the hearts, ii. 10 ; nn. 53*54, 

also see hypocrites. 
Distribution of Charity, ii. 177 ; nn. 

Divining arrows (*U;l), v. 3; n. 165 
Divorce, meaning, ii. 227 ; n. 499 ; 

ii. 228; nn. 502 ; ii. 229 ; nn. 519-21 ; 

ii. 230; nn. 527, 534; ii. 231-32; 

n. 545 ; ii. 236; nn. 587-90 ; ii. 237 ; 

nn. 597-603; ii. 241, n. 617; ila. 

ii. 2:6; n. 494-96 
Dower, ii. 229. nn. 522, 525 ; ii. ?36-37 ; 

iv. 4 ; nn. 506-7 ; iv. 19 ; nn. 604-609 ; 

iv. 21 ; nn. 618-19, 622 ; iv. 24 ; n. 9 ; 

iv. 25; nn. 15-16, 18, 29, 24 

East & West, faces to, ii. .115; nn. 

516 17; ii. 142, 177, n. 166 
Emigration, iv. 97 ; n. 424, 430 
Evidence, re. transactions, ii. 282-83 

n. 180-84 
Evil, comes from ourselves, iv. 79 

n. 311, 
Evil Spirit, rejected, accursed, iii. 36 

aUo see Satan 
Excess, forbidden in religion, iv. 171. 

Ezra, ii. 259; n-56 

Face, of God, ii. 1 12 ; n. 501 ; ii? 272 

rejectors of, ii. 6-7 ; nn-47, 48 ; 

ii. 165; n.l 15; iii. 4, 10, 12,21-22,90; 

n.622; 91; n. 625; Il6;n.l02; 181; n. 



396 ; 184; n. 410 ; iv. 136, 137, 167; n. 
80; 168, n. 83 

Sellers of, iii. 77, 177 ; nn-380, 81 
Signs of, ii. 165 

Strengthened in danger and disaster, 
iii. 173; n. 360 
False testimony, iv. 135 ; n. 594 
Fasiq ( ^li), meaning, ii. 26; n. 1 15 
FastingVii. 183; nn.205, 206, 207;.ii.l8V 
n. 208, 209 ; ii. 185; nn.223-24; ii. 187 
Fatiha, S. i 
Fear of God: 

as He should be feared, iii. 102; n. 47 
commanded to people, iv. 131 ; 
nn. 570-71 
Fear of men, iv. 77 ; iii. 1 75 ; n. 378 
Fear no evil, iii. 175. 
Fear as motive for reclamation, ii. 74 ; 

nn. 317-18 

for Believers, ii. 6? ; n. 280 
for those who submit to God, ii. 1 12 ; 
who believe and do good, ii. 277 
■"' who spend for God, ii. 262, 274 

none for the Righteous, ii. 38 ; n. 170 

by Children of Israel, ii. 246-51 

in cause of God and oppressed men 

and women, iv. 75; n. 272 
in prohibited months, ii.217; nn.4 19-20 
in the way of Allah, ii. 190; n. 267 ; 
ii. 192; n. 277; iv. 74; n.267 ; iv. 84 
prescribed, ii. 216; nn-41*2-13 
Firawn, see Pharoah 
Fire, parable, ii. 17 ; n.69; ii. 72 
Fire, (Hell), ii. 24; n.102 

whose fuel is men and stones, ii. 24 ; 
n. 103 
Food, lawful and unlawful, ii. 168, 

nn. 127-28; ii. 172, 173 
Forgiveness, ii. 263; ii. 109; n. 492; 
iv. 48, 110, 116 
by Believers, ii. 109; n. 492; 
by God, see God 
Friends, iii. 28; nn. 331-32 

Gabriel, ii. 97 ff ; also see Angels 
Gambling, ii, 219 ; n. 439, 442 
Gentiles, iii. 75 ; nn. 563-64 
Glad tidings to men, ii. 25 

Best Disposer of affairs, iii. 173; n. 

Best of Planners, iii. 54 ; n. 467 
Bestower of kingship, iii. 26; nn. 321- 

Gherisher, i. 2; also see Rahm&n and 

close to man, ii. 186; n. 231 
commands not to be mocked at, ii. 

231 ;n. 541 
Creator of all, ii. 29; nn. 127-29; ii. 

117pnn. 527-31 
creates not in vain ; iii. 191 ; n^441 
Doer of all He intends, ii. 253; n. 12. 
everything from Him, iv. 78; nn. 

Eternal, ii. 255; nn. 20-21 
fails not the tryst, iii. 194; n. 449 
fear of, ii. 189; n. 265 
forgives sins, iii. 37, 135, 166; n. 186 
Forgiving, ii. 37; n. 166; ii. 160; n. 

104; ii. 172; nn, 151, 182; iii. 31; 

iv. 17; n. 593; i v. 43, 48, n. 60, iv. 

64, 110, 116; n. 508; v. 39 
gave you life, ii. 28 
gives life and death, iii. 156; n. 288 
Guardian, Lord, ii. 21; nn. 88-89 
guides whom He-will; ii. 272; n. 129 
Helper and Friend, iii. 150